A New Jersey mother of 11 and grandmother of 27 became the third member of her family to die after contracting the coronavirus. The infections were connected to New Jersey's first coronavirus fatality because of horse racing.
Grave Fusco, the 73-year-old family matriarch from Freehold, didn't know that one of her sons died hours earlier, or that her daughter, Rita Fusco-Jackson, had died five days earlier.
She'd been treated at CentraState Medical Center in Freehold Township along with other family members, The New York Times reported.
Four other children in the family who contracted coronavirus remained hospitalized, three of them in critical condition, according to multiple news reports (that information has since been updated).
SAD UPDATE: A fourth member of a New Jersey family connected to the state's first coronavirus fatality died Thursday.
Mrs. Fusco’s eldest daughter, Rita Fusco-Jackson, 55, of Freehold, died Friday.
Her eldest son, Carmine Fusco, 55, died earlier Wednesday at a hospital near his home in Bath, Pa., family members told The Times. He is Pennsylvania's first confirmed death from COVID-19.
The family, including Mrs. Fusco's late husband, Vincenzo L. Fusco, has long been connected with the horse-racing industry, either training or racing at nearby Freehold Raceway.
Attending a recent Fusco family gathering was John Brennan, a 69-year-old Little Ferry man who worked at Yonkers Raceway and was the first New Jersey resident officially confirmed killed by the coronavirus, said state Health Commissioner Judith M. Persichilli.
Nearly 20 other Fusco family members were quarantined at their homes and unable to mourn their collective losses, the Times reported.
“If they’re not on a respirator, they’re quarantined,” Mrs. Fusco's cousin, attorney Roseanne Paradiso Fodera, told the newspaper. “They can’t even mourn the way you would."
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