Many New York City hospital morgues are currently experiencing delays with decedent retrieval—by the New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) and funeral homes. These delays are due to numerous factors, including an increase in citywide fatalities and unprecedented staffing shortages brought on by the current Omicron wave.
GNYHA is coordinating closely with both OCME and New York City Emergency Management to alleviate the pressure on hospital morgue facilities. The current situation, mitigation measures, and available resources for hospitals will be discussed on an informational webinar on January 19 at 3:00 p.m.
We would also like to share several important reminders:
OCME Morgue Census Survey
Beginning on January 18, 2022, OCME will administer the Morgue Census Survey every weekday. Besides monitoring hospital morgue capacity status, survey information also informs stakeholder decisions on resource allocation. Surveys will be open from 6:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Body Collection Point (BCP) Deployment
If a facility requires decedent retrieval to maintain storage capacity within fixed morgues (or if storage capacity issues are anticipated), hospitals are strongly encouraged to request BCPs.To do so, hospitals should contact Cassandra Pineda.
GNYHA Fatality Management Document Portal and Resource Hub for NYC Facilities
GNYHA continues to maintain this section on its website. Please check here for current forms and protocols and planning resources.
Human Resources Administration (HRA) Burial Assistance Program
The New York City HRA offers a burial assistance program to surviving family members who require financial assistance to make burial arrangements. HRA has made significant changes to the program to make the application process easier for surviving family members, including extending the deadline and increasing the allowance per decedent. Please visit the HRA’s burial assistance program webpage for more information or call the HRA Office of Burial Services at 929-252-7731.
GNYHA continues to work closely with City agencies to advocate on behalf of our member hospitals.