A New York City nursing home on Friday reported the deaths of 98 residents believed to have had the coronavirus — a staggering death toll that shocked public officials.

“It’s absolutely horrifying,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said. “It’s inestimable loss, and it’s just impossible to imagine so many people lost in one place.”

It is hard to say whether the spate of deaths at the Isabella Geriatric Center, in Manhattan, is the worst nursing home outbreak yet in the U.S., because even within the city facilities have chosen to report fatalities in different ways.

An official state tally of nursing home deaths listed only 13 at the home as of Friday.

But officials at the 705-bed centre confirmed that through Wednesday 46 residents who tested positive for COVID-19 had died as well as an additional 52 people “suspected” to have the virus.

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Some died at the nursing home and some died after being treated at hospitals.

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