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Michigan activates Mortuary Response Team for the first time

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Posted at 5:40 PM, Apr 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-29 17:41:18-04

LANSING, Mich. — The state says they are activating the Michigan Mortuary Response Team (MI-MORT) for the first time, Wednesday.

The response team is made up of volunteers and will help local health care facilities and funeral homes with the influx of human remains during the coronavirus pandemic.

According the the Michigan Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, MI-MORT will help identify, transport and store human remains until families and funeral homes can make arrangements.

“Our volunteers are dedicated to providing comfort and reassurance that a person’s remains are safe and properly, professionally handled as quickly as possible at every step," said Timothy Schramm, funeral director for Howe-Peterson and commander of MI-MORT.

MI-MORT set up a private and secure collection center to provide "security and privacy for patients who died, their families and the local funeral homes."

They say If medical examiners and investigators, law enforcement, forensic scientists, chaplains and funeral directors from across the state want to volunteer, they can head to this website.

If local officials or healthcare facilities would like to request help from MI-MORT they can reach out to their local medical examiner or their local emergency management team to determine their need.

The Michigan Mortuary Response Team was set up 10 years ago as part of emergency and disaster planning. This is the first time the team has been activated.

Michigan has had over 3,500 COVID-19 related deaths since the first case of coronavirus was reported on March 10th.