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She lost her mother, two brothers and a sister to coronavirus within a week

Elizabeth Fusco was still grieving her...

Posted: Mar 20, 2020 4:55 AM
Updated: Mar 21, 2020 4:30 AM

Elizabeth Fusco was still grieving her oldest sister's death when she got another call this week. Her oldest brother had died, too.

While she was on the phone with the hospital Wednesday, she heard her mother coding in the background and the doctors' frantic activity to save her, she told CNN. Her mother did not make it.

A day later, on Thursday, another brother died, leaving the shocked New Jersey family mourning the loss of a mother and two brothers within a week and a sister who died six days prior -- all victims of the coronavirus that has killed 195 people in the US.

Her mother and the family matriarch, Grace Fusco, 73, of Freehold, New Jersey, died Wednesday this week after being diagnosed with the coronavirus.

Her brother, Carmine Fusco, had died just before their mother on the same day, according to The New York Times. A day later, on Thursday, another brother, Vincent Fusco Jr., died, a family member said.

Her oldest sister, Rita Fusco-Jackson, had died on March 13, The Times reported. All the children were in their 50s and it's unclear whether they had underlying health issues.

'It's absolutely surreal,' Elizabeth Fusco told CNN's Chris Cuomo on Thursday night. 'They were the roots of our lives ... It's like the second we start to grieve about one, the phone rings and there's another person gone, taken from us forever.'

She'll never forget hearing her mother's last moments, she said.

'I listened to those doctors and those machines code my mother on the phone when she passed. I'll never get over that.'

Three other relatives are hospitalized

In addition to the deaths, three other relatives are hospitalized in New Jersey and 19 other family members have been tested for the virus and are anxiously awaiting results, said Roseann Paradiso Fodera, the mother's cousin. They include children, parents and grandchildren, and are quarantined together.

'This is an unbearable tragedy for the family,' Paradiso Fodera said. 'The family's biggest concern is that we have four members of one family who have passed, two on life support and one stable,' Paradiso Fodera said.

The infections appeared to have originated from a family dinner this month, according to The Times, which first reported the story. It said the first person to die from coronavirus in New Jersey had attended that gathering.

US death toll goes up

As the US death toll grows, states are ordering more shutdowns. By Thursday night, New Jersey had nine deaths from the virus and at least 742 people infected.

The number of reported coronavirus cases in the United States has jumped daily, pushing health care officials and political leaders to take steps to keep the pandemic from overwhelming the system.

In California, the nation's most populous state is ordering its nearly 40 million residents to stay home to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom's order marks the first statewide mandatory restrictions in the United States to help combat the outbreak. It went into effect Thursday at midnight and includes exemptions for essential services such as public safety and medical care.

Experts are urging everyone -- even those who don't feel sick -- to stay at least 6 feet away from others and avoid social gatherings.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 33509

Reported Deaths: 559
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah7274140
Marion477996
Washington461560
Umatilla300441
Clackamas246663
Malheur165030
Lane129317
Jackson11906
Deschutes87312
Yamhill77414
Jefferson5458
Polk53515
Linn53213
Morrow5136
Lincoln48113
Union4462
Benton3286
Wasco2964
Klamath2902
Hood River2520
Douglas2434
Clatsop2210
Josephine2042
Columbia1841
Coos1600
Baker982
Crook631
Tillamook530
Lake340
Wallowa331
Curry320
Sherman180
Harney120
Grant100
Gilliam80
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 819115

Reported Deaths: 15885
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2702996576
Riverside594051226
San Bernardino55203955
Orange537511268
San Diego47180783
Kern32073369
Fresno28621390
Sacramento22590416
Alameda21383412
Santa Clara21379322
San Joaquin20411456
Contra Costa16793207
Stanislaus16512362
Tulare16204263
Ventura12875150
Imperial11908320
San Francisco11275104
Monterey1005073
San Mateo9990150
Santa Barbara9164113
Merced8961143
Kings768180
Sonoma7578122
Marin6734119
Solano644571
Madera458368
San Luis Obispo361231
Placer360448
Butte284844
Yolo282855
Santa Cruz239410
Napa172713
Sutter172011
San Benito135211
Yuba11728
El Dorado11514
Mendocino95418
Shasta94320
Lassen7410
Glenn5963
Tehama5855
Lake56611
Nevada5417
Colusa5356
Humboldt5128
Calaveras32214
Amador29616
Tuolumne2274
Inyo18815
Mono1662
Siskiyou1660
Del Norte1441
Mariposa762
Plumas500
Modoc270
Trinity160
Sierra60
Alpine20
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