With growing number of COVID deaths, Cape Coral Hospital brings in external morgue

Reporter: Emma Heaton Writer: Melissa Montoya
Cape Coral Hospital. Credit: WINK News.

A refrigerated external morgue is now in use at Cape Coral Hospital to house bodies.

Lee Health’s Chief Officer of Operations Armando Llechu said the hospital can house four bodies in its morgue, but because of the growing number of COVID deaths, they have run out of space.

“It’s typically sufficient for us,” Llechu said of the morgue, “but with the number of folks that are dying from COVID on a daily basis, we had to get some external resources to hold the bodies.”

Llechu admits a temporary morgue is a grim reminder of how deadly the COVID-19 pandemic is.

“We’re losing anywhere from six to 12 patients to COVID across the health system on a daily basis,” Llechu said. “That’s a significant number of deaths for us.”

Lee Health reported 10 people died of COVID-19 on Wednesday. Since the start of the pandemic, 870 people have died in their hospitals after contracting COVID-19.

In the last two weeks, 91 people have died of COVID-19. Only one person was vaccinated, Llechu said.

Denise Sawyer is a chaplain at Cape Coral Hospital.

She knows doctors and nurses are fighting to save their patients and she is praying they win that fight.

“They asked me to pray for them. I have done more praying in the world than ever before,” Sawyer said.

But Llechu said all of this death is a waste.

“The futility of watching these young people die because of a decision to not get vaccinated or to not wear a mask or not socially distance. It’s all so preventable,” Llechu said. “The virus is a deadly virus. And these are patients that are dying in spite of our best efforts to save them.”


Copyright ©2023 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.