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News > U.S.

New York Uses Mass Graves Due to Increase COVID-19 Deaths

  • Mass grave on Hart island, New York, U.S., April 9, 2020.

    Mass grave on Hart island, New York, U.S., April 9, 2020. | Photo: Twitter/ @NaphiSoc

Published 10 April 2020

Hart island has been used to bury NYC unclaimed corpses since the 19th century.

Regarding the images of mass graves on Hart Island, which have been circulating on social media for the last few days, New York City (NYC) Mayor Bill de Blasio said those graves are temporary solutions until families can organize a private burial.​​​​


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"The pictures of our fellow New Yorkers being buried on Hart Island are devastating for all of us. I want to make sure everyone knows what they’re seeing and what is actually happening on Hart Island. Remember, these are human beings," De Blasio tweeted.

"These are people who no one after a period of time has claimed them, and not just COVID victims, but victims of all diseases," he added, as reported by NPR.

Previously, on Friday morning, NYC spokeswoman Freddi Goldstein confirmed that unclaimed corpses will be buried on that island.

Her statements were made after the public could see leaked images of the burial of various coffins, placed one on top of the other, on Hart Island.

For over 150 years, this island has served as NYC public cemetery. The corpses of people who have remained unclaimed for up to 60 days are disposed of there.

As of Friday morning, the United States has reported 468,895 COVID-19 confirmed cases, and 16,697 deaths. 

So far, New York City reported over 92,000 confirmed cases and more than 5,800 deaths.

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