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COVID-19: Freehold Religious Education Teacher Is New Jersey's 2nd Death From Virus

The second coronavirus death was a religious instruction teacher from Freehold.
The second coronavirus death was a religious instruction teacher from Freehold. Photo Credit: New Jersey Office of the Governor

A religious education teacher from Freehold was identified as the second New Jersey resident to die from COVID-19, according to a Facebook post from Co-Cathedral of St Robert Bellarmine.

Rita Fusco-Jackson was a parishioner and teacher in the church's confirmation program and was involved in the church choir, according to the post.

She was in her 50s and was being treated at CentraState Medical Center in Monmouth County, according to this tweet from Gov. Phil Murphy.

In a Sunday conference call, state officials said the woman who died in Monmouth County had confirmed exposure to earlier New Jersey COVID-19 cases.

The church said in the Facebook post: "I ask that every member of the parish please remember the Fusco-Jackson family in their prayers as they deal with the loss of Rita and for all who have been impacted by COVID-19 here in the parish and throughout the nation."

The church said in the post that "after a review of the last two weeks, we have determined that the participation in church activities by members of this family was minimal." 

As of Sunday, there were 12 presumptive positive coronavirus cases in Monmouth County and 98 statewide, In Sunday's conference call, state Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli said that the woman from Monmouth County "had contact with a confirmed case. That confirmed case had a nexus with a confirmed case in Bergen County."

The exposures may have originated at a family event, she said.

"A family gathering in Monmouth County has resulted in the one death we reported and several positive cases for the people who attended that gathering," Persichilli said.

Asked to clarify if the Monmouth County death was connected to the fatal Bergen County case, Persichilli said, "The person who expired in CentraState was a relative of the individual who was connected to the Bergen County Case."

To track COVID-19 cases in New Jersey, click here.


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