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St. Joseph County plans morgue with COVID-19 relief money

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — A northern Indiana county is looking to spend some of its federal COVID-19 relief money to open a county morgue.

The St. Joseph County coroner’s office is now using a cooler at a local cemetery to store six or seven bodies at a time since it doesn’t have its own facility.

The County Council voted this past week to allocate $380,000 in American Rescue Plan funding for the coroner to buy and renovate space for a morgue.

The county coroner said the new facility could lead to autopsies being conducted in South Bend again. The office now sends bodies to Fort Wayne or Kalamazoo, Michigan, for autopsies.