On April 18 and 19 reports came out in New York City that three people with Covid-19 symptoms who were self-isolating in the Hilton Garden Inn at 37th Street had been found unresponsive and dead in their assigned hotel rooms.
Some reports stated that although there was no immediate cause of death in all three cases, the hotel was housing people who could not safely isolate at home.
Recently, di Blasio stated that the city would be preparing up to 11,000 hotel rooms for symptomatic New Yorkers who could not self-isolate as well as for first responders like health-care workers who need to isolate from families while attending Covid-19 patients in New York’s hospitals.
In a press conference on April 20, New York Mayor, Bill di Blasio stated that from his office’s records it appeared that the three victims had been “treated and released” from area hospitals and that they had been classified as “recovered.” He said that authorities would be investigating the issue and that wellness checks on similar people housed for isolation purposes would be increased.
Currently, the city provides tele-medicine for people who are considered symptomatic but who must isolate in place in city hotels because they do not have the resources or situations to do so at home. The tele-medics provide daily wellness calls to check on those who have been housed temporarily in hotels.
The Four Seasons New York 57th Street was one of the first hotels to offer up rooms to healthcare workers. The Intercontinental Hotel New York Times Square has also recently given over 250 of the hotel’s 607 rooms to health care workers.
The Intercontinental Hotel’s General Manager, Gul Turkmenoglu told Business Traveler in a phone interview that the rooms were given over purely to health care workers and that because the hotel did not have separate facilities to house symptomatic individuals they were not doing so.
“The safety of our healthcare worker guests is of paramount importance,” she said. “We will do everything we can to protect them.”