At least 7 members of the same New Jersey family contracted COVID-19 at a family gathering. 2 of them died and 4 are in critical condition. (Kelly McLaughlin)
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Hospital workers in South Carolina providing coronavirus tests.

AP Photo/Mic Smith

  • Rita Fusco-Jackson, 55, tested positive for the novel coronavirus after she died last Friday at CentraState Medical Center in Freehold, New Jersey.

  • Six of her family members were hospitalized with COVID-19 infections, five of whom were in critical condition, according to

  • The relatives include five of Fusco-Jackson's siblings and their mother, their sister, Elizabeth Fusco told

  • Her brother,  Carmine Fusco, was one of the six and has since died.

  • Another 19 relatives have been tested for COVID-19 and are now waiting for their results.

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At least seven members of a single New Jersey family have contracted COVID-19, leaving two dead and several others in critical condition. 

Rita Fusco-Jackson, 55, died last Friday at CentraState Medical Center in Freehold, New Jersey, and later tested positive for COVID-19, her sister, Elizabeth Fusco told Their brother, Carmine Fusco, died on Wednesday.

Four other Fusco children and their mother have been hospitalized with COVID-19, and four of them are in critical condition. Elizabeth Fusco said she is one of 11 children.

"This has been devastating for all of us," Fusco, 42, told "Our hearts are broken over losing our sister, Rita."

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She added that 19 more relatives, including spouses and children, have been tested for COVID-19 and are waiting for the results. 

State Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli said doctors suspect the virus was transmitted at a recent family get together.

One of the siblings is a friend of John Brennan, a horse trainer who was the first New Jersey resident to die from COVID-19.

Roseann Paradiso Fodera, a cousin and the family's attorney, told that everything going on is "surreal."

"To imagine a week ago to get a phone call like this — if someone told me this story, I wouldn't believe it," she said. "It's inconceivable to me."

Margaret Jahn, a Freehold health officer, told that she doesn't believe the virus has spread in the community beyond the family members.

"We've conducted several interviews with regard to people who were exposed to close contacts, and we've followed up with those — so we are not seeing a community spread per se," Jahn said.

There are more than 6,500 recorded cases of the novel coronavirus across the US, and 115 people have died.

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