NEW YORK, NY – The New York Times reported today that at least four people have died while participating in a city-run program which placed them in hotels after they had been discharged from hospitals for COVID-19 treatment. The program is designed to help patients who may still be contagious but are unable because of their living situations to self-isolate away from vulnerable family members or roommates. But the deaths raise questions about why these at-risk individuals were released when they were, and whether they received enough monitoring from healthcare professionals to minimize the risk of sudden death.
Three of the deaths occurred at the Hilton Garden Inn on West 37th Street in Midtown, while the fourth occurred at a hotel in Queens. The formal cause of death for two of the men was heart failure, but the city medical examiner’s office clarified that coronavirus was a contributing factor for both.
Mayor Bill de Blasio has been focused on improving oversight of patients placed in hotels under the program, hiring additional security guards and emergency medical workers at hotels housing five or more patients, and offering more screening to determine which patients needed more care. He has also announced plans to hire a chief medical officer to oversee the program, and to launch an investigation into the four deaths.
“Something doesn’t make sense here,” the mayor said. “Why are these people — why have they lost their lives?”
DISCLAIMER: This is part of an ongoing series of articles provided by Finz & Finz, P.C., to help our fellow New Yorkers stay abreast of the latest developments in the coronavirus crisis. The New York Times article cited here was written by Ashley Southall and Nikita Stewart and reflects their reporting on an important issue. It is linked here.