One of two temporary mortuaries will open this week as part of Dorset's ongoing response to the Covid-19 emergency.
Due to an increase in the number of deaths due to Covid-19 in Dorset over the last two weeks, a decision was made to activate the Poole site as part of the Excess Deaths Operational Plan.
The site will support the two major NHS hospital mortuaries in the Dorset region, as well as local funeral directors, by providing temporary additional accommodation of hospital and community deaths.
Cllr Nicola Greene, Portfolio Holder for COVID-19 Resilience and Public Health at BCP Council, said:
"Sadly, this is one of the contingencies we are having to put in place. Our hospitals continue to be under a huge amount of pressure, with over 550 people in hospital with COVID-19 in Dorset in the last reported figures. The recent rise in cases in our community has meant that heartbreakingly, we have also seen an increase in deaths.
"We hoped that we wouldn't need to use this extra capacity, but it is now required.
"It is absolutely vital that we all continue to follow the rules and stay at home. Remember that one in three people with COVID-19 do not have any symptoms. Only leave home for one of the permitted reasons, so we can protect our NHS services and save lives."
Councillor Spencer Flower, Leader of Dorset Council, said:
"We appreciate that this topic is a difficult one for everyone, but the devastating impacts of this disease are now being felt. Please remember to socially distance, wear a mask when required and wash hands regularly. Together we can help to beat this horrible disease and get back to normal as soon as possible, by everyone playing their part and sticking to the rules.
"We want to reassure residents that the activation of this Mortality Support Facility is being established as part of our duty to respond to the current situation and we will make sure that loved ones are treated with care and respect.
The councils are directing anyone grieving and in need help and support to contact Cruse Bereavement Care or call their helpline on 0808 808 1677.