Temporary Morgues

The ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic has severely impacted all aspects of life, requiring the declaration of a State of Emergency. The mortuary services sector has been especially hit hard, resulting in a severe shortage of space within morgues across the state. To address this issue, the State of New Jersey has procured refrigerated trailers to serve as temporary morgues for the northern region and a fixed facility to serve as a temporary morgue for the central and southern regions. The temporary morgues will be made available to all agencies requiring temporary body storage services.

Sites have been identified in the northern and central parts of the state. Please contact the respective storage facility to make arrangements ahead of time, and make sure that the required forms are accurately completed. It is the responsibility of the transferring facility to make sure that the next of kin is notified of the transfer and location of the remains, and to ensure proper disposition is effectuated.


North Temporary Morgue:
Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Passaic, Morris, Sussex, Warren
Hours: Mon-Sat 8am-6pm, closed Sundays

Tel: 609-433-4117

Central & South Temporary Morgue
Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Salem, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, Somerset, Union
Hours: Mon-Fri 8am-6pm, closed Saturday-Sunday

Tel: 609-433-0641

Please note that all Southern facilities should contact the Central Temporary Morgue

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Who will transport decedents from my facility to the temporary morgues?
A: The transferring agency is responsible for transportation of decedents to the temporary morgues. When possible, next of kin should be notified prior to transfer. Other arrangements may be discussed by contacting the temporary morgue in your region when this is not an option. 

Q: What type of PPE should be worn when handling decedents?
A: The proper level of PPE suggested by the CDC can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/guidance-postmortem-specimens.html#biosafety

Q: What hours can I transport decedents to the temporary morgues?
A: The temporary morgues are available for receiving and releasing decedents seven days a week, from 7am to 9pm. 

Q: Who can be transferred to the temporary morgue facility?
A: Identified remains preferably with a known Next of Kin (NOK), awaiting final disposition, will be accepted to the temporary morgue facilities. 

Q: Who is responsible for the decedents when the temporary morgues are no longer in service?
A: The transferring agency is ultimately responsible of the decedent if the decedent is not released to a licensed funeral home. 

Q: Will the facilities accept COVID-19 positive remains?
A: Yes. The temporary morgues will be equipped with proper PPE for handling COVID and non-COVID remains. 

Q: Are there any weight restrictions in place?
A: Yes. The temporary morgues are equipped to handle decedents weighing up to 300 pounds.  Decedents exceeding this limit will not be accepted in the temporary morgues. 

Q: Can I choose which temporary morgue to transfer a decedent to?
A: No. The temporary morgues are to be utilized by the counties within the designated region.  

Q: What if the temporary morgue in my region is at capacity?
A: If a temporary morgue is at capacity the OCSME will assign an alternate site. 

Q: What information do I need to provide when transferring a decedent to the temporary morgue?
A: Sections 1-3 of the Decedent Transfer Authorization from must be completed by the transferring agency prior to arrival.

Q: Where can I find the Decedent Transfer and Authorization form?
A: The Decedent Transfer and Authorization form can be downloaded from the link below. 

Q: Who can a decedent from a temporary morgue be released to?
A: Decedents in the temporary morgues will be released to a licensed funeral home employee with valid identification and authorization from the decedent’s next of kin. 

Q: What information do I need for the release of a decedent from the temporary morgue?
A:  To release a decedent from the temporary morgue to a licensed funeral home, a member must provide valid funeral home identification and the Release of Remains and Removal Authorization form. 

Q: Where can I find the Release of Remains and Removal Authorization form?
A: The Release of Remains and Removal Authorization form can be downloaded from the link below.

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Required Forms
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Last Reviewed: 5/18/2020