Detroit turns island park into COVID-19 memorial garden

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Photo credit A procession of vehicles drive past photos of Detroit victims of COVID-19, Monday, Aug. 31, 2020 on Belle Isle in Detroit. Families have a chance to take one last public look at their lost loved ones in the nation's first citywide memorial to honor victims of the pandemic. Mourners will join 14 consecutive funeral processions to drive past nearly 900 large poster-sized photos of their loved ones staked around the island. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

DETROIT (AP) — A Detroit island park was transformed Monday into a drive-thru COVID-19 victims memorial as policy makers across the U.S. moved forward with plans to reopen schools and public spaces.

Hearses led processions around Belle Isle Park in the Detroit River, where more than 900 large photos of local coronavirus victims provided by relatives were turned into posters and staked into the ground.

As the death toll continued to rise around the world, officials announced plans to bring children back to school in Rhode Island, allow diners back inside New Jersey restaurants and let fans watch football inside an Iowa college stadium.

New COVID-19 cases were linked to travelers on vacation in Europe and the head of the World Health Organization cautioned against opening societies too quickly. Nearly 1,000 inmates at a Tennessee prison tested positive.

More than 847,000 people worldwide have perished from the virus and more than 25.3 million have contracted it, according to Johns Hopkins University — figures experts say understate the true toll due to limited testing, missed mild cases and other factors.

DETROIT COVID VICTIMS