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2 die in D.C. halfway house in 3 days, residents fear COVID-19

Hope Village halfway house in Southeast Washington. (ABC7)
Hope Village halfway house in Southeast Washington. (ABC7)
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Two people died inside the Hope Village halfway house in Southeast Washington in just three days.

Residents are concerned the people who died could be the latest victims of the pandemic.

“Get us out of here man,” yelled a resident from the window. “We [are] dropping like flies!”

Only the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will be able to determine if the deaths were COVID-19 related or not.

Ward 8 councilmember Trayon White said three people in Hope Village’s building 50 complained of coronavirus symptoms within the last two weeks.

“They need to be moved out of this building because they are still in the same environment,” said White. “The people who still reside here are concerned for their safety and their life and if you look in that building you see a lot of gentlemen looking out the window afraid that they might be next.”

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton sent a letter to Director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, urging them to investigate Hope Village.

“After the troubling deaths of two residents in three days at Hope Village, it is imperative that residents on their way home from prison be released as soon as practicable and that the Federal Bureau of Prisons visit the facility,” Norton said.

Family members of the inmates told 7 On Your Side the residents cannot leave anymore because of the pandemic. They’re also concerned about sanitation and social distancing inside the halfway house.

Workers there directed ABC7 to the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

On Monday morning, Sue Allison, of the bureau's office of public affairs, told us the deaths were not COVID-19 related and that Hope Village has no positive cases of the virus.

Allison said the deaths are under investigation, but would not comment further when we asked how the bureau is sure the deaths are not COVID-19 related without completed autopsies.

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