St. Louis County will build a temporary morgue because of the increase in deaths due to the coronavirus.

CLAYTON — St. Louis County will build a temporary morgue because of the increase in deaths due to the coronavirus.

County spokesman Doug Moore told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Monday that the facility is expected to open by the end of the week.

County Executive Sam Page discussed construction of the temporary morgue during a news conference on Monday and said his staff is working with faith leaders about how to handle bodies with dignity.

The county's permanent morgue is a one-story building in Berkeley, with a capacity of 20 bodies. State law requires the county medical examiner to take charge of the bodies and investigate facts concerning the medical cause of some deaths, including those from a disease that is thought to be hazardous or contagious.

As of Sunday, 42 people in St. Louis County had died from infections caused by COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus.