GNYHA, the New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner (OCME), and NYC Emergency Management (NYCEM) will host a conference call at 3:00 p.m. today (May 5) to discuss new resources and processes being put into place to assist hospitals with the body collection point (BCP) and decedent retrieval process.

Given the importance and complexity of this issue, hospital leadership participation at the Chief Operating Officer level is requested, along with representatives of Mortuary Operations, Facilities, Social Work, Emergency Management, Admitting, and other departments involved in fatality management.

GNYHA held two similar calls last week with select hospitals. If your facility participated in one of these calls (held on April 28 and May 1), participation in this call is not necessary.

New York City’s unprecedented surge hospital and home fatalities due to COVID-19 has created an enormous backlog in the funeral home industry, including cemeteries and crematoriums. It has forced hospitals to maintain decedents in BCPs, or refrigerated trailers, for extended periods of time.

On today’s call, City agency representatives will describe the creation of strike teams of staff from OCME, NYPD, NYCEM, and the US Military, who will help hospitals complete paperwork and ready BCPs for removal. To expedite removal of BCPs, OCME has made significant adjustments to paperwork requirements, which will be discussed in detail. Finally, City representatives will describe the long-term storage option that has been developed, which will provide families with more time to make final arrangements for their loved ones. There will be ample time during the call for questions and discussion.