Hospitals Advised to Activate Morgue Surge Space and Request BCPs as Needed to Maintain Storage Capacity

February 3, 2021

In response to the increase in fatalities seen across New York City—both in-hospital and non-health care facility deaths—the New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) cannot guarantee immediate retrieval of unclaimed cases from hospital facility morgues. If a facility requires the retrieval of unclaimed cases to maintain storage capacity within fixed morgues (or if you anticipate storage capacity issues), we strongly encourage you to activate your internal morgue surge space (if you have not already done so). Additionally, once hospitals are nearing capacity with both their fixed morgue and surge morgue space, we urge you to request a body collection point (BCP) to serve as an extension of your morgue.

To request a BCP, hospitals should contact their affiliated association (NYC Health + Hospital facilities can contact Kyesha Turner or Madeline Tavarez; all other New York City facilities should contact Faiza Haq at GNYHA). These liaisons will work directly with facilities to complete the BCP request form and coordinate with OCME and New York City Emergency Management to deploy a unit within 48 hours.

Please note that delays in OCME retrievals will impact unclaimed cases. OCME will continue to prioritize Medical Examiner cases for pickup, and claimed cases should continue to be released to funeral homes.

Additionally, routine New York City fatality management hospital calls have restarted and are held weekly on Thursdays from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Please e-mail to be added to the calendar invite.