tombstone with flowers

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Saying coronavirus has hit the world hard would be the understatement of the century — it changed life as we know it in a matter of weeks and in the United States, NYC was hit the worst by the deadly pandemic. Now, new reports say the Big Apple is digging mass graves for its unclaimed COVID-19 victims… see footage here.

“Workers in hazmat outfits were seen stacking wooden coffins in deep trenches in Hart Island. Officials say burials are being ramped up at site, which has long been used for people with no next-of-kin or families who cannot afford a funeral,” BBC states, adding “The drone footage comes from Hart Island, off the Bronx in Long Island Sound, which has been used for more than 150 years by city officials as a mass burial site for those with no next-of-kin, or families who cannot afford funerals.”

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Usually, about 25 bodies are sent to the island per week, but “burial operations have increased from one day a week to five days a week, with around 24 burials each day” Department of Correction spokesman Jason Kersten said. The site goes on to say that usually Riker’s Island inmates do the job, but it’s been taken over by contractors due to the increased workload. Additionally, New York City has reportedly decreased the amount of time it will hold on to unclaimed victims “amid pressure on morgue space.”

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“It is not clear how many of the dead have no next-of-kin or could not afford a funeral,” BBC notes. We are keeping the nation and world in our prayers in this time.