Margate doctor becomes first medical professional to die from COVID-19 in South Florida

MARGATE, FLA. (WSVN) - A Margate doctor has died from COVID-19, making him the first medical professional to die from the coronavirus in South Florida.

Dr. Alex Hsu, 67, practiced internal medicine at Northwest Medical Center in Margate. He died on Wednesday.

A medical examiner confirmed to 7News on Thursday that the cause of death in Hsu’s case is COVID-19.

Hsu spent many years at Northwest Medical Center before he opened his own practice down the street from the hospital.

Dr. Roland More, who knew Hsu, said he was full of life, even more so than much younger physicians.

“He had the vitality and energy where he would run circles around people half his age,” said More.

Javonne Young, who owns a senior center across the street from the hospital, said Hsu saw his residents regularly.

“Amazing guy. He took care of our participants at our Senior Social Club,” he said. “You see a doctor that’s supposed to know all the proper protocols to disseminate this whole COVID-19, and it got to him, so we just need to take all precautions as necessary and try to get through this.”

In a phone interview, Donna Channell, one of Hsu’s patients, said the doctor worked in the Margate community for nearly four decades.

“He took care of you. It’s a sad day. He was the doctor for 38 years in Margate, and very well-loved by many,” she said.

Channell said she last saw Hsu on Feb. 12, and she’s healthy, but she’s worried about the spread of COVID-19.

“We really need to everybody do their part. Stay home. Don’t go out if you don’t have to,” she said. “I don’t know any other way we can stop this.”

More said he agrees with the necessity of social distancing.

“This is a global pandemic. We should not let our guard down,” he said. “If you’re going to go out in public, you need to wear a mask, no doubt.”

Hsu would become the fourth person to die in Broward County once it is acknowledged by the State of Florida. It remains unclear how he contracted the virus.

Anyone with questions and concerns about the coronavirus can call the Florida Department of Health’s 24-hour hotline at 1-866-779-6121.

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