NYC Begins Offering Hotel Rooms for Families That Live in Close Quarters

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New York City on Wednesday will start opening more hotels to COVID-19 patients who have to isolate.

City Council Health Committee Chair Mark Levine says the goal is to get people who live in crowded apartments to be able to distance themselves from family members to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

"This is especially important in low-income communities where crowded apartments have been driving the spread of the virus," Levine said.

Patients won't be forced to stay in the hotel rooms, the councilman said, and they will need a recommendation from their healthcare provider in order to secure a room.

The news comes after Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday talked about ramping up 11,000 "more hotel rooms to use for quarantining those who live in overcrowded, multigenerational households."

Meanwhile, city officials are investigating the deaths of three men quarantined at the Hilton Garden Inn South in Times Square over the weekend. It is not clear if their deaths were related to the virus.

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