Photos show bodies piled up and stored in vacant rooms at Detroit hospital

Photos shared among emergency room staff at Sinai-Grace Hospital in Detroit show bodies being stored in vacant hospital rooms and filling a refrigerated holding unit. CNN's Ryan Young has the details.

Posted: Apr 14, 2020 2:40 PM
Updated: Apr 14, 2020 2:40 PM

Photos shared among emergency room staff at Sinai-Grace Hospital in Detroit show bodies being stored in vacant hospital rooms and piled on top of each other inside refrigerated holding units brought into the hospital's parking lot.

CNN acquired the photos from an emergency room worker.

Two other emergency room workers confirm the photos are an accurate portrayal of the scene taking place at the hospital during early April, during one 12-hour shift they describe as overwhelming.

The ER workers spoke to CNN on the condition of anonymity out of concern for their jobs.

The two sources tell CNN that at least one room, which is typically used for studies on sleeping habits, was used to store bodies because morgue staff did not work at night, and the morgue was full.

"All I know is we ran out of beds to keep our patients on so we couldn't spare any for the bodies," said one ER worker, who witnessed the bodies in the room.

In the photo two bodies were put on a bed, side by side, and another body is placed in a chair next to the bed. All three bodies are in white body bags.

"It was because we hadn't gotten our outside freezers yet, so those rooms had beds and the morgue people don't work over night," said the ER worker.

In response to this incident, two hospital ER workers tell CNN that the hospital decided to order portable refrigerator storage units to store the bodies.

On Saturday, CNN visited the hospital. Five refrigerated storage units could be seen in the parking lot.

And, in another photo obtained by CNN from an emergency room worker, body bags are shown overlapping each other inside a refrigerated unit at the hospital.

Two other ER workers confirm to CNN that they have personally seen victims placed like this inside the units due to the growing number of bodies.

They say that blue bags shown in the photo are the personal effects of the deceased.

"Bodies are definitely double stacked on the floor. There is no lift to help put the bodies on the shelf," said one ER worker who has witnessed similar scenes of bodies.

In response to a call for comment, hospital spokesman Brian Taylor told CNN, "Patients who pass away at our hospital are treated with respect and dignity, remaining on-site until they can be appropriately released."

He added, "Like hospitals in New York and elsewhere, we have secured additional resources such as mobile refrigeration units to help temporarily manage the capacity issue caused by COVID-19."

Six ER workers told CNN that the hospital was treating about 100 to 130 patients at a time during a period in early April when it was at its highest volume. Over the past several days, according to the workers, the case load has dropped significantly to about 50 patients, which they say is a more manageable number.

Taylor said the hospital was focused on bringing in additional nursing resources to help care for the increase in cases.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 768624

Reported Deaths: 13993
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1055891807
Lake569801031
Allen43032699
St. Joseph37344568
Hamilton37335426
Elkhart29783470
Tippecanoe23503230
Vanderburgh23240405
Porter19580327
Johnson18843392
Hendricks18089323
Madison13575347
Clark13552198
Vigo12869256
LaPorte12578225
Monroe12575178
Delaware11155198
Howard10693237
Kosciusko9792124
Hancock8761150
Bartholomew8274157
Warrick8084157
Floyd8043182
Grant7378181
Wayne7239201
Boone7211105
Morgan6924143
Marshall6345117
Dubois6283118
Cass6096112
Dearborn602178
Noble600890
Henry5958111
Jackson517277
Shelby511598
Lawrence4928127
Gibson463696
Montgomery459292
DeKalb456785
Clinton456055
Harrison454077
Huntington417882
Whitley416745
Steuben411260
Miami406073
Jasper401655
Knox388691
Putnam385762
Wabash370384
Adams353856
Ripley351971
Jefferson343487
White340154
Daviess3089100
Wells304081
Greene295185
Decatur292693
Fayette286564
Posey282635
Scott281058
LaGrange277772
Clay274949
Washington254637
Randolph247783
Jennings239749
Spencer238731
Fountain235850
Starke229959
Owen222959
Sullivan221643
Fulton208945
Jay203032
Carroll197722
Orange191756
Perry189939
Vermillion181144
Rush177627
Tipton173347
Franklin172535
Parke155916
Pike142534
Blackford138032
Pulaski123748
Newton123336
Benton109715
Brown106243
Crawford105816
Martin92515
Warren87915
Switzerland8378
Union73610
Ohio58411
Unassigned0429

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1125420

Reported Deaths: 20490
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1305631493
Cuyahoga1173952263
Hamilton825481261
Montgomery536581062
Summit489381014
Lucas43799834
Butler40064614
Stark33876939
Lorain26072510
Warren24959312
Mahoning22738613
Lake21482396
Clermont20425261
Delaware19169138
Licking16879227
Trumbull16829492
Fairfield16825207
Medina15880276
Greene15565254
Clark14366308
Portage13450218
Wood13358201
Allen12064245
Richland11748213
Miami11047228
Wayne9275228
Columbiana9216236
Muskingum9144137
Pickaway8755123
Tuscarawas8724255
Marion8716140
Erie8146166
Ashtabula7280179
Hancock7050135
Ross7031165
Geauga6975153
Scioto6726108
Belmont6224179
Lawrence5964104
Union591649
Jefferson5729162
Huron5644122
Sandusky5498130
Darke5448131
Seneca5380128
Washington5373111
Athens527260
Auglaize507787
Mercer491785
Shelby484397
Knox4621113
Madison448066
Ashland446198
Defiance439499
Fulton436875
Putnam4358104
Crawford4120111
Brown410462
Preble3956107
Logan392279
Clinton391466
Ottawa376481
Highland366668
Williams357378
Champaign349860
Guernsey331554
Jackson321954
Perry299050
Morrow294943
Fayette289350
Hardin279665
Henry277467
Coshocton273061
Holmes2726102
Van Wert252365
Gallia251150
Adams250958
Pike244837
Wyandot235557
Hocking222963
Carroll201449
Paulding180142
Meigs151540
Monroe137945
Noble137939
Harrison115438
Morgan111724
Vinton87517
Unassigned04
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