Island's 'Sanctum' Temporary Mortuary Blessed

Jersey's temporary mortuary, which will be used if the rate of coronavirus deaths spikes dramatically, has been blessed by the island's faith leaders.

'The Sanctum', which is located at the far end of Bellozanne Valley, has been chosen as an 'appropriate, sympathetic and professional' way to manage excess deaths resulting from the pandemic.

It was selected by a co-ordinating group including representatives from government, the police, the Deputy Viscount, the Superintendent Registrar, faith groups and the island's funeral directors.

It will be securely protected 24 hours a day and has been professionally cleaned and refurbished.

The Very Reverend Mike Keirle was one of those to bless the mortuary:

"We gather together as faith leaders in order to offer our prayers into this space so that they can be assured that their loved ones have an appropriate place to rest with dignity before their funerals."

It will be run by family funeral directors and hospital mortuary staff and will only be used if the existing mortuary is overwhelmed and can't meet demand.

"Under a worst-case scenario, the Sanctum will provide an extension of the Island’s existing mortuary services and will be used as a resting place for the deceased until funeral arrangements can be made. The facility has been developed using existing emergency plans, in collaboration with members of the COVID-19 response multi-agency groups, and it will ensure that we are suitability prepared should the worst happen.

"As Chair, I want to reassure the public that if the Sanctum should ever be used, Islanders will be treated with the utmost care and dignity." -Detective Chief Inspector Chris Beechey, Chair of the Co-ordinating group.

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