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COVID-19: New York covers unclaimed casualties in mass graves

New York administrators say that Hart Island, which for decades has been used as the final resting place for those who perished unclaimed, will now be used for unclaimed coronavirus victims.

Hart Island has been used by the city as a public cemetery for over 150 years and is supervised by the Department of Correction. The Hart island burials are mostly people who have been unclaimed at the city’s morgue for anywhere from 30 to 60 days.

New rules from the medical examiner’s office said bodies will be taken to the island if they go unclaimed for two weeks.

“These are people who, for two weeks, we have not been able to find anyone who says, ‘I know that person, I love that person, I will handle the burial,’” Goldstein said. “These are people who we have made zero contact with the family.”

Usually, about 25 people are buried on the island each week, Goldstein said. But since coronavirus began claiming victims in the US, she said there are 25 people buried there each day.

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