The video footage shows workers in hazmat suits piling caskets on top of each other in enormous trenches in the ground on Hart Island in New York City.
The footage shows forklifts being deployed to deliver the caskets to the workers who then accumulate them one on top of another. The images show dozens of plain pine coffins buried inside the trench.
Workers have to use a ladder to go down into the pit where the caskets were piled.
New York is among the hardest-hit places on the planet by the pandemic, and its morgues and emergency rooms have been flooded as a result.
On Thursday, the state reported another 10,000 infections taking the total to almost 160,000. This means that if New York were its own country, it would have more confirmed cases than any other country. The two hardest-hit countries in Europe, Spain, and Italy, have verified 153,000 and 143,000 cases respectively.
The city has used Hart Island to bury those with no family and those whose families can not arrange a funeral since the 1800s.
Typically 25 bodies are buried there every week. Now, that many are being buried on the island every single day, a spokesman for the Department of Corrections, which oversees the burials, told Reuters.
New York City’s medical examiner told AP on Thursday that the city will now only hold unclaimed bodies for 14 days, down from the usual 30-day limit, before they are transferred for temporary interment at a city cemetery.
The bodies are covered in plastic and placed in pine coffins, and the names of the dead are scrawled in large letters on the cover of the coffin in case they need to be unearthed at a later date.
According to satellite images provided to Motherboard by geospatial data company Maxar Technologies in Colorado, the burial trenches in New York City were already visible from space four days ago, on April 6.