New York City officials have hired contract laborers to bury the dead in its potter’s field on Hart Island.
The decision was made as the city’s daily death rate from the coronavirus pandemic continues to soar.
Historically Hart Island has been used to bury those with no known next of kin or for those unable to afford an alternative.
The island sits to the east off the city’s Bronx borough and is accessible only by boat.
Typically, some 25 deceased New Yorkers are interred each week by jail inmates working on the island.
Now, according to Reuters, five days a week, about two dozen bodies are buried a day on the island.
There are over 161,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus in New York and the state reports a death toll of more than 7,000.