Courtesy PG County Parks & Rec

The Gardens Ice House, a five-rink sports facility in West Laurel that is located a short distance from the Laurel Medical Center, is being used by the state of Maryland as a temporary morgue. Media reports say that the facility is housing some of the recently deceased who have died due to COVID-19 or other reasons and cannot yet be transported to by a funeral home or another location.

Del. Mary Lehman, a Democrat who represents District 21 in Anne Arundel and Prince George’s counties, said, “It’s just very sobering is the way I would sum it up. This is a sign of the times we are living in. I do think the state is trying its very best, and this is the right thing to bring more dignity to this very unfortunate situation.”

Some of the bodies held at the ice house have not been identified while others are awaiting out-of-state arrangements, sources told Wilkins.

The Maryland Department of Health released a statement to WRC-TV, saying, “The Maryland Department of Health can confirm the state has a Temporary Mortuary Affairs Center. The facility is operational and provides a high-level of dignity and respect for the deceased as they await transport to a funeral home or mortuary facility.” Sources also told the station that bodies are elevated, protected and draped in Maryland flags.