FITCHBURG (CBS) – As Massachusetts prepares for a potential surge in deaths from coronavirus, a temporary morgue has been setup in Fitchburg.

Special mortuary trucks were brought onto the property of Fitchburg State’s Landry Arena, and large tents were setup outside.

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Mortuary trucks were setup at Landry Arena at Fitchburg State University. (WBZ-TV)

While a spokesperson for the Chief Medical Examiner’s office said the state currently has sufficient capacity to handle its needs, “our contingency plans include supporting the continued operation of mortuary services by providing increased short-term capacity for cities, towns, and medical facilities, if necessary.”

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The Fitchburg facility is intended as a temporary staging area between hospitals and funeral homes or mortuaries, should those facilities reach their capacity.

“This will allow mortuary service providers to keep their services operating in a way that’s safe for staff and respectful of each decedent,” Fitchburg Mayor Stephen DiNatale said in a written statement. “If these short-term storage services become necessary, the public health benefits will save lives here and across Massachusetts.”

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The state of Massachusetts handles an average of 60,000 deaths a year.