Tragedy at the EPIC Hotel Miami

A hotel guest has died, and two other are still sick, after contracting Legionnaire’s Disease at The EPIC Hotel in downtown Miami earlier this fall when the hotel was attempting to remove chlorine from its city-supplied water with a powerful filter that unfortunately encouraged bacterial growth.

The sad news coming out of downtown Miami is that a guest has died and two others are still sick after contracting Legionnaire’s Disease while staying at The EPIC Hotel in Miami. The EPIC Hotel was working to actually improve the conditions of their drinking water supply when the disease was contracted, but unfortunately the water filter that the hotel had installed to remove chlorine from its city-supplied water actually encouraged bacterial growth.

The EPIC Hotel has currently stopped accepting new guests, and has relocated their current guests to different hotels in the area. Their website features a statement that says, in part, “The EPIC Hotel has voluntarily partnered with the Miami-Dade Health Department to notify guests and staff of the possible presence of bacteria in its water system, and to engage in water remediation efforts.  Though not currently accepting guests, the hotel remains in operations and is focused on minimizing guest inconvenience. Simultaneously, the hotel is working toward a quick and thorough resolution of the matter.”

While there are few details about the guest who died from the bacterial infection, except that he was a foreigner who stayed at the hotel this fall, the EPIC Hotel is taking precautionary measures to ensure the safety of all other guests who may have been exposed. The hotel’s website states that the hotel is immediately notifying and communicating all precautionary measures to guests and staff, relocating guests to area hotels to maximize guest care and minimize inconvenience, notifying future guests who have booked during this time to make alternative arrangements, complying with health department officials to conduct a thorough inspection of the hotel’s water system, and proceeding with all remedial procedures in conjunction with the health department to restore full system operations.

The EPIC hotel is quite a new hotel, opening less than a year ago in February, which makes this tragedy even more shocking as Legionnaire’s Disease is typically found in older hotels with poor ventilation systems or water supplies. The disease cannot be spread from person-to-person, but rather only through contaminated water that enters a person’s lungs.