AUSTIN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – As Texas sees its COVID-19 case and hospitalizations numbers rise during the latest surge, the Texas Department of State Health Services submitted a request to FEMA for five mortuary trailers following a review of state data on fatalities, according to spokesman Douglas Loveday.
The request was submitted August 4 as “a normal part of preparedness to have these available to support local jurisdictions in case they need them,” he said.
The trailers will be staged centrally in San Antonio in case any local jurisdictions around the state need them.
None have requested it at this point, Loveday said.
FEMA previously provided this resource for earlier increases in COVID-19 fatalities and has indicated they will be delivered in the next week to two weeks.
On Tuesday, August 17, there were 327 ICU beds available in Texas and 11,791 lab-confirmed COVID-19 patients in hospitals throughout the state, according to state health data.
The state had 53,100 fatalities as of Monday.
Gov. Greg Abbott has opposed mask mandates and issued an executive order banning school districts from requiring masks, which has caused backlash from educators and local leaders.
Texas had the most pediatric hospitalizations in the nation, at 239, according to the latest data released Monday by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Florida had 170 children in hospitals with COVID-19.
“We don’t know of any place that needs these now due to COVID, but part of a response is being prepared for what could happen. Knowing that it takes a few weeks for these to arrive, we wanted to go ahead and put the request in,” said Loveday.