Coronavirus kills 3 family members and sickens 4 others after a dinner in New Jersey

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 (CNN) – A New Jersey mother died from coronavirus without knowing that her two children also got infected and died shortly before she did, The New York Times reported.

Grace Fusco, 73, died Wednesday and was unaware of the deaths of her oldest son and daughter from Covid-19, the disease caused by coronavirus.

A relative told the newspaper that four other children also have coronavirus and remain hospitalized — three in critical condition. CNN has reached out to a family representative but has not heard back.

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

Grace Fusco’s oldest daughter, Rita Fusco-Jackson, 55, of Freehold, New Jersey, died Friday. Shortly afterward, the family learned she had coronavirus. Her son, Carmine Fusco, of Bath, Pennsylvania, died just before his mother Wednesday.

Nearly 20 other relatives are quarantined at their homes and are grieving the loss separately, The Times said.

More deaths reported nationwide

The US death toll has grown to almost 150, and states are ordering more shutdowns. As of Wednesday, New Jersey had five deaths from the virus and at least 427 people infected statewide.

The number of 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.

“We’re talking about potentially 12 or 18 months of this,” said Dr. Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota.

Two major factors are fueling this pandemic: people with no symptoms easily spreading the virus and problems with testing in the United States.

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

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