Vittorio Caruso, 56, from Glen Cove, New York is the eighth American to die there this year.
A man from NY died while vacationing in the Dominican Republic earlier this month, according to a US State Department official. The case of another tourist, a woman from Pennsylvania who died in 2016 under similar circumstances, was made public by her family this past week after they read about the others and detected common threads. One of the other Americans who died in the island Caribbean nation became ill after he drank scotch from a minibar, according to his son-in-law.
Caruso was the co-owner of Vittorio's Pizza on Cedar Swamp Road in Glen Cove, having sold the business about a month ago after deciding to retire. She said that he'd traveled alone to the Dominican Republic.
Customer care assistance manager Penelope Polanco told NPR the decisions are unrelated to the series of reported deaths, but are an effort to ensure the "tranquility" of their guests. The FBI is now assisting Dominican police with the investigation into their deaths. His sister-in-law said Caruso died after suffering respiratory distress and possibly a heart attack while on vacation.
The hotel stated that they will hire an American healthcare company to "ensure the on-site health clinic is complying with all worldwide and USA standards", Hard Rock told the New York Post in a statement.
Another American has died while on vacation in the Dominican Republican, according to CNN. The U.S. Department of State has recently moved the Dominican Republic's safety rating from "exercise normal precautions" to "exercise increased caution".
The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Punta Cana recently chose to remove "liquor dispensers" in its guest rooms. Neighbor Levonne Pittman told News 12 Long Island that Caruso was a "sweetheart".
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The Hard Rock Punta Cana also said in a statement it is also working with a United States health care facility to ensure that the clinic at the resort "is complying with all global and US standards of care". He said in any six-month period, it is not unusual for eight people to die on vacation. Caruso, who recently sold a pizzeria he co-owned with a sibling, is the 11th American to die in the country since previous year, according to Fox.
All the food and drinks will be tested by a USA lab.
Dominican Republic's top tourism official on Friday downplayed as an exaggeration a spate of deaths among American tourists.
But guests she's talked to who arrived after she didsaid they no longer have liquor in their rooms.
Tourism minister Francisco Javier García told journalists that post-mortems for the deaths reveal the tourists died of natural causes.
"If there's something that went wrong, we will take the disciplinary measures that are warranted", he said.