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Health Department Denies Report of Coronavirus at Elmhurst Hospital

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Jan. 31, 2020 By Allie Griffin

New York City’s Department of Health denied a report of coronavirus at Elmhurst Hospital after an internal NYPD memo warned officers in Queens that a patient with the deadly virus was being treated there.

A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene said the report of the virus at NYC Health + Hospitals/Elmhurst is inaccurate.

“At this time there are NO confirmed or suspected cases in NYC,” spokesperson Michael Lanza said.

The confusion arose from an email sent to officers in eight NYPD precincts in Queens early Friday morning, according to the New York Daily News.

The message, sent shortly before 2 a.m. read, “EGH [Elmhurst General Hospital] has 1 confirmed case of the Coronavirus. If you send a perp to EGH, make sure the officer has proper gear (mask) to protect themselves,” the Daily News reported.

Novel Coronavirus was first reported in Wuhan, China in December and the outbreak of the virus has since been declared an international public health emergency by the World Health Organization.

More than 200 people have died from the flu-like virus and there are about 9,800 infections confirmed, according to the New York Times.

However, the risk to most people outside China is very low, as is the fatality rate.

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