COVID-19 claims the lives of 3 in same New Jersey family, report says

Posted at 8:24 AM, Mar 19, 2020

NEW JERSEY — A family dinner may be to blame for three COVID-19 deaths and four hospitalizations, all within the same New Jersey family, according to the New York Times.

Seventy-three-year-old Grace Fusco, of Freehold, died Wednesday, just hours after her son died in Pennsylvania and five days after her 55-year-old daughter died in Freehold.

Four more of Fusco’s children reportedly remain hospitalized with COVID-19, three of which are in critical condition.

The first New Jersey man to die of the virus was reportedly a close family friend. The New York Times said nearly 20 relatives of the family are in quarantine.

Meanwhile, New Jersey’s first drive-thru testing site for COVID-19 opened Friday on the campus of Bergen County Community College in Paramus.

As of Thursday morning, New Jersey has 427 confirmed cases of the coronavirus and five deaths.

State Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli said the drive-thru would prioritize symptomatic health care workers and first responders. The site can collect 2,500 specimens per week.

A second drive-thru site opens next week at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel.

New Jersey may also reopen a closed-down hospital and convert unused wings in four other hospitals to make room for new patients. That will add 200 extra hospital beds. No word on what hospital may reopen, but officials expect to do a walk-through of it this week.

Gov. Phil Murphy said the National Guard can also help set up facilities.

The governor said authorities will crack down on banned public gatherings of more than 50 people.

"We will enforce this aggressively if need be," Murphy said.

Officials are continuing to stress the importance of social distancing to "flatten the curve" of coronavirus.

Murphy will hold a press conference at noon Thursday to provide more details on the Paramus testing sight, including who will qualify to use it.

This story was originally published by Katie Corrado on WPIX in New York.