Judith Persichillin, Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Health, confirmed that a person who had contact with the first coronavirus victim in New Jersey had attended a recent Fusco family gathering.
Paradiso Fodera, family lawyer and cousin to the Fusco family, said the gathering was a routine Tuesday dinner. “A party to most people was a regular dinner to them,” she said before counting names on a family tree that listed 27 grandchildren.
Grace Fusco, shown above center, was sedated and on a ventilator when she died Wednesday night at CentraState Medical Center in Freehold NJ. Her son, Carmine Fusco, of Bath, Pennsylvania, died only hours before, becoming Pennsylvania's first coronavirus death. Her eldest child, Rita Fusco-Jackson of New Jersey passed away five days prior.
According to family, Grace Fusco passed away without knowing that two of her children had passed away due to the virus.
Four of Fusco's other children who contracted coronavirus remain hospitalized, three of them in critical condition, Paradiso said.
Nearly 20 other relatives are quarantined at their homes, unable to mourn their deep collective loss together.
“If they’re not on a respirator, they’re quarantined,” Paradiso Fodera said. “It is so pitiful,” she added. “They can’t even mourn the way you would.”
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