A New York City radio reporter who covered the initial novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in Westchester infected several people at her mom’s 90th birthday party, some of whom later died, according to reports.
Alice Stockton-Rossini, a journalist for 710 WOR, told the Philadelphia Inquirer that she caught the virus while doing on-mic interviews in New Rochelle, which was at the epicenter of the initial outbreak in New York.
Days later, on Sunday, March 8, she threw a birthday party for her elderly mother and about two dozen friends at Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church on Long Beach Island in New Jersey.
Stockton-Rossini’s mother reportedly fell ill the next day and was hospitalized. Then the reporter began experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 herself. In total, at least seven people have become sick and two have died after being exposed to the virus.
According to the Inquirer , Long Beach Island health officer Dan Krupinski said the “community cluster” was ultimately traced back to that birthday party. Stockton-Rossini’s mother has since been treated and discharged from the hospital.
"I had no idea how quickly this virus would spread. No idea at all," she told CNN . "And it is frightening. And it is sobering. And it's not fun to have to live with the fact that you could make someone extremely sick.
“Even reporters like myself were saying, you know, more people die of the flu, it's not going to be much worse ... And we quickly found out that it was a big deal. That it spreads very quickly. And that social distancing has proven to be the way to control it.
“I can hardly bear it. I had to tell my mother her best friend died,” Stockton-Rossini told the Inquirer. “If I had to do it over again, can I honestly say I wouldn’t have gone to Westchester? I probably would have worn a mask. If I had to do it over again, do you think I’d have a party for my mother? No.”
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