Coronavirus kills 3 members of same family, sickens 4 others

Three members of the same New Jersey family have died from the coronavirus and four other family members remain hospitalized after testing positive for COVID-19 as cases continue to rise across the country.

Grace Fusco, 73, a mother of 11 and grandmother of 27, died Wednesday night at CentraState Medical Center in Freehold, NBC News confirmed. Her death came just hours after her oldest son, Carmine Fusco, died at a Pennsylvania hospital near his home, and five days after her daughter, Rita Fusco-Jackson, 55, died at CentraState Medical Center, family relative Roseann Paradiso Fodera told NJ.com.

Four more of Grace Fusco's children remain hospitalized with the coronavirus, three of them in critical condition, according to Paradiso Fodera.

"It's completely devastating," Paradiso Fodera told NJ.com. "They will need the faith they've always embraced to get them through this overwhelming shock and profound grief."

Nineteen members of the family have been tested for coronavirus and are currently quarantined in their homes, so they have been unable to gather together to mourn those who have died, Paradiso Fodera said.

"If they're not on a respirator, they're quarantined," Paradiso Fodera told The New York Times. "It is so pitiful. They can't even mourn the way you would."

Gov. Phil Murphy announced Wednesday that 427 people have been infected in New Jersey. Three of the five people who have died across the state are from the Fusco family.

State officials believe the family's deaths are connected to John Brennan, 69, a horse trainer from Bergen County who was the first one to die from the coronavirus in New Jersey.

The Fusco family has longstanding connections to the horse-racing industry, according to The New York Times. A person who was in contact with Brennan was later at a large Fusco family gathering, New Jersey health commissioner Judith M. Persichilli told NJ.com Sunday.

The number of cases worldwide has topped 220,000 as of Wednesday, with 7,942 cases and 137 dead in the United States.

New Jersey's largest city, Newark, has taken the measure of instituting an 8 p.m. curfew in which no one should be on the street unless there is an emergency or they are traveling to or from work.