Ballad Health official addresses COVID-19, refrigeration trailer

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TENNESSEE (WATE) — Two spots in East Tennessee have refrigeration trailers to address an increase of deaths at regional hospitals during the pandemic.      

TEMA tells us the two trailers in East Tennessee are in Knoxville and Johnson City. A spokesperson also told us that the trailers were pre-positioned since the beginning of the pandemic, and to be used when needed.  

There are nine morgue trailers in Tennessee and these trailers were pre-positioned at the outset of the pandemic in Tennessee, in late March to early April. Three of the trailers are located in the west region of the state, four are in the middle region, and to are located in the east region in Johnson City and in Knoxville. FEMA provided the trailers via a resource request we submitted earlier this year.Statement from TEMA.

This past week, Ballad Health, the hospital system that serves Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia, said a trailer in Johnson City would likely have to be used at Johnson City Medical Center, due to their morgue at the hospital reaching capacity.  

We’re told the morgue at JCMC can hold seven bodies.  

Ballad Health says they’ve requested another refrigeration trailer for Holston Valley Medical Center in Kingsport.  

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