A facility at RAF Henlow is being prepared as a temporary mortuary to cope with the worsening coronavirus situation.
The local council said the mortuaries at Bedford and the Luton and Dunstable hospitals still have sufficient capacity but the facility at Henlow is backup storage should the additional space be needed.
In a statement, Central Bedfordshire Council said the number of deaths in the area was expected to rise and, while it is "a hard thing to think about", it is something they must prepare for.
Preparation to get the facility ready is underway, with the aim of it being available later this month should the need arise.
It is not the first time a facility at RAF Henlow has been readied to be used as a temporary mortuary.
Central Bedfordshire Council announced in April last year that a building at the Bedfordshire base was being prepared for use due to COVID-19.
As of 6 January, 7,394 people had been tested in Bedfordshire, with 1,806 confirmed positive cases, up by 323 cases in the last seven days, as well as 347 registered deaths involving COVID-19.
The temporary mortuary facility will be staffed and have security to protect the dignity of those who have lost their lives.
Last week, the Ministry of Defence announced the military’s response to the coronavirus pandemic had become the biggest ever homeland military operation in peacetime.
Armed Forces personnel have started assisting with community testing in Greater Manchester and, with a total of 5,300 servicemen and women currently assisting with winter and coronavirus tasks, the number of personnel battling COVID has hit a record high.
They are currently supporting 56 different operations across the United Kingdom and abroad.
Cover image: RAF Henlow in March 2019 (Picture: Google Maps Street View).