Coronavirus kills 4 members of New Jersey family: "I don't know why this is happening"

/ CBS/AP

Cancer survivor dies of coronavirus

A fourth member of a New Jersey family died Thursday from the novel coronavirus. Vincent Fusco died Thursday morning at a hospital in Freehold, NJ.com reported.

His death was confirmed by Roseann Paradiso Fodera, an attorney and relative. Fusco's mother, Grace Fusco, died Wednesday night, hours after another son, Carmine Fusco, died in Pennsylvania.

A sister, Rita Fusco-Jackson, died last Friday. In her final hours, Grace Fusco wasn't aware her two children had died, Paradiso Fodera, told the newspaper.

Coronavirus: The Race To Respond

More in Coronavirus: The Race To Respond

Carmine Fusco died Wednesday at a hospital in northeastern Pennsylvania, where he lived. A sister confirmed his death, which was the first in Pennsylvania caused by the virus, to the Morning Call of Allentown.

Carmine Fusco and Rita Fusco-Jackson, who were both in their 50s, were "the most wonderful brother and sister that anybody can have," their sister, Andriana Fusco, told the newspaper. "They were good people. I don't know why this is happening. They didn't deserve this, they're too young."

46261680-1584547434789125-r.jpg
A GoFundMe page has been set up for the family stricken by the coronavirus. GoFundMe

A GoFundMe created for the family says six members of the family members were hospitalized with "severe symptoms" on March 10. "The Fusco family needs your thoughts and prayers during these hard times and any amount of donation would be greatly appreciated," organizer Allen Zak wrote.

Carmine Fusco trained horses that competed at harness racing tracks in the area. Andriana Fusco told The Morning Call that she disputed reports that the virus may have been spread through a family gathering attended by a person who'd had contact with 69-year-old John Brennan, a former harness racing trainer who worked for years at New York's Yonkers Raceway.

Brennan lived in northern New Jersey and was the first person in the state to die because of the virus, on March 10.

Andriana Fusco told the newspaper her brother Carmine hadn't been in New Jersey in the past two weeks and that she hadn't seen him since last month. She also said other members of her family had been sickened by the virus.

"God rest their souls," New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said about the family.

Our hearts go out to the Fusco family.

As we mourn with them, I urge all New Jerseyans to take this seriously. Please wash your hands, practice social distancing, and stay home. We will get through this together.
https://t.co/o8DYS2AEPS

— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) March 19, 2020

Murphy revealed during his Thursday media briefing that there are 318 new cases, bringing the state-wide total to 742, including nine deaths, CBS New York reported. Three of the state's nine deaths have been in Bergen County, including a 30-year-old man. The county alone has about 200 cases of COVID-19.

First published on March 20, 2020 / 6:31 AM

© 2020 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.