A refrigerated trailer sits outside Mills Memorial Hospital on Jan. 8, 2021. (Jake Wray/Terrace Standard)

A refrigerated trailer sits outside Mills Memorial Hospital on Jan. 8, 2021. (Jake Wray/Terrace Standard)

Refrigeration unit returns to Mills Memorial Hospital

Morgue capacity strained

Northern Health has once again placed a refrigeration unit at Mills Memorial Hospital in Terrace in what it is describing as a regular practice tied to its morgue capacity.

It’s the second time in less than a year Northern Health has done this — the first was in the spring of 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic first took hold.

“This step is necessary to ensure adequate and appropriate resources for storage of decedents, and is, again, not directly related to COVID-19,” said Eryn Collins who speaks for Northern Health.

“Other services, such as funeral homes, retrieving decedents from our custody, is once more a factor,” she said.

Collins called the measure temporary, but noted the use of the morgue at Mills fluctuates from day to day.

“We are continually planning and implementing measures for additional capacity across our system, to ensure continuity of care and other services,” she said.