By Sasha Gonzales
The bodies of NYCHA tenants are routinely being found inside their Bronx apartments, as shortages of COVID-19 tests and emergency medical treatment continue to devastate low-income communities, tenant advocates told Bronx Justice News.
Elderly and sick tenants in the borough’s long-neglected housing projects are dying in their residences each day, these advocates said, while some younger project tenants are also perishing at home amid the global crisis.
New Yorkers are dying in their residences at about ten times the normal rate, city data shows. Causes of death have not been established for many, meaning they are not reflected in the city’s daily COVID-19 death totals.
The Bronx — home to New York City’s largest minority population, and the city’s poorest borough per capita — has been disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus outbreak, with infected residents twice as likely to die here than those infected elsewhere in the city.
City data shows the virus ravaging communities of color, and the Bronx, with a population that is 84% black, Latino, or mixed race, is bearing the brunt of those disparities.
With roughly 70 NYCHA developments and properties scattered across the Bronx, workers from the city medical examiner’s office and funeral homes have been unable to keep pace with the number of corpses being discovered in tenants’ apartments, the advocates said.
Some bodies are decaying for days before being discovered, or removed, from the premises, they said.
The Bronx is home to about 17 percent of city residents, but has accounted for roughly 26 percent of all recorded coronavirus deaths citywide, data shows.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.