Texas requests five mortuary trailers during Covid-19 surge

Refrigerated trailers serve as makeshift morgues in El Paso, Texas, in November 2020.

(CNN)Five mortuary trailers have been requested by the health services department in Texas, which is seeing a surge in Covid-19 cases and, along with Florida, leads the nation in pediatric hospitalizations.

The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) submitted a request for the trailers following a review of state data on fatalities, according to spokesman Douglas Loveday.
The request was submitted August 4 as "a normal part of preparedness to have these available to support local jurisdictions in case they need them," he said.
      "The trailers aren't for San Antonio specifically but will be staged there, as that is our staging location for these resources since it is centrally located and where we have space to store them," Loveday said.
        Loveday said the trailers were requested after a review of Texas data on fatalities and the increase of fatalities during the state's third Covid-19 wave of the pandemic.
          On Tuesday, there were 327 ICU beds available in Texas and 11,791 lab-confirmed Covid-19 patients in hospitals throughout the state, according to state health data.
          The state had 53,100 fatalities as of Monday.
            Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has opposed mask mandates and issued an executive order banning school districts from requiring masks, which has caused backlash from educators and local leaders.
            Texas had the most pediatric hospitalizations in the nation, at 239, according to the latest data released Monday by the US Department of Health and Human Services. Florida had 170 children in hospitals with Covid-19.