Brooklyn Boro

Brooklyn woman is New York City’s first coronavirus death

March 14, 2020 Mary Frost

An 82-year-old Brooklyn woman was the first in New York City to die after contracting the novel coronavirus.

The woman, who had a pre-existing diagnosis of emphysema, a respiratory disease, died at Wyckoff Heights Medical Center in Bushwick Friday. She had been admitted to the hospital on March 3.

“To hear of the death, the first New Yorker to die related to coronavirus, this is a very painful moment,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a Saturday news conference. “This is a moment we all knew would come. That doesn’t make it any easier. I want to say at the outset our hearts go out to her family, our condolences to them, and we will do all we can to support this family in this really difficult moment.”

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De Blasio said the woman had been hospitalized for emphysema previously, before being later hospitalized for the coronavirus. “She went in the hospital last week, one of our first cases and … was in critical condition ever since,” he said.

De Blasio urged people to be extra mindful exposing their older friends and relatives and those with conditions making them more vulnerable to COVID-19. Instead of visiting in person, he suggested making phone calls and virtual visits by Skype or FaceTime.

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said the woman’s death “emphasizes just how closely this pandemic hits home.”

De Blasio also announced Saturday that a member of the FDNY who works a firehouse in Brooklyn has been confirmed to have the coronavirus. As a matter of precaution, 31 members of that firehouse have been quarantined.

As of 10 a.m. on Saturday, there were 183 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in New York City, an increase of 29 confirmed cases since late Friday afternoon.



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