Coroner, National Guard to help with COVID-19 bodies as death toll rises

As a grim sign of the coronavirus surge in Los Angeles County, the COVID-19 death toll has overwhelmed private mortuaries and hospital morgues. Now, a team of California National Guardsmen is set to arrive in Southland on Monday to help.

The LA County Department of Public Health reported Sunday an additional 91 people died as a result of COVID-19 complications. 

The department also reported a total of 7,544 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized with the virus, with 21% in intensive care. The county's totals for the entire pandemic are now 818,639 cases and 10,773 deaths. 

RELATED: LA County reports another 12,488 COVID-19 cases, 91 additional deaths

Local mortuaries say they do not have enough room to accommodate the dead and the team of California National Guardsman will assist the LA County Medical Examiner-Coroner to process the deaths. 

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Hospitals across Southern California continue to be overwhelmed and many hospital workers are at their breaking point. 

RELATED: Stay up to date on all coronavirus-related information

On Monday, Long Beach Community Hospital will reopen to assist with non-COVID patients to help free up hospital space. 

RELATED: Historic Community Hospital Long Beach reopens for non-COVID patients

CNS contributed to this report.