Three coronavirus patients recovering in a New York City hotel were found dead in their rooms this weekend in a turn of events Mayor Bill de Blasio said has left officials “confused.”
The three unrelated deaths occurred at the Hilton Garden Inn in Times Square, which has been under contract with NYC Emergency Management to house individuals who have been released from local hospitals after testing positive for COVID-19, a spokesperson for the NYPD told PEOPLE in a statement.
A 70-year-old male was found dead in a room on Saturday, as was a 42-year-old male, the statement said. A third man, 64, was found dead on Sunday.
“It’s obviously tragic,” de Blasio said at a press briefing Monday. “As I understand it, these are three people who were in hospitals for COVID-19, got care, recovered, and were released.”
The NYPD spokesperson said all deaths were deemed non-suspicious, and that a cause of death would be determined by the Medical Examiner. It remains unclear if any of the victims had underlying health conditions, which would have made them more likely to suffer from severe illness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
De Blasio said the three men had been discharged from different hospitals to the hotel — one from Montefiore Hospital in the Bronx, one from Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, and the other from NYC Health + Hospitals/Harlem.
“We’re doing a full review right now to understand what happened,” the mayor said. “If they’re discharged, and all from different hospitals, something doesn’t make sense here… We’re confused how this could have happened.”
The victims were among the many patients staying in hotel rooms as they recovered, and were supposed to receive daily telephone wellness checks, according to WNBC.
One of the victims’ family members, however, told the outlet that they had difficulties getting in contact with the man, and that there were no medical professionals on site to help.
De Blasio said that in light of the deaths, the city would add additional medical personnel to check in with patients more frequently, and to make sure “that everyone is being very closely watched and supported.”
“We don’t know yet what happened here and why it happened, and when we do, we’ll certainly let you know,” he said.
De Blasio reportedly said on Thursday that he hoped to secure an additional 11,000 hotel rooms to quarantine “those who live in overcrowded, multigenerational households.”
New York City has been hit exceptionally hard by the virus, and as of Monday afternoon, had 134,446 cases and 9,708 deaths attributed to coronavirus, according to The New York Times. The U.S., meanwhile, had 753,317 cases and 36,109 deaths, according to the Times.
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