PHILADELPHIA - New Jersey is one of the states in our area hit the hardest by the coronavirus outbreak. Presently, the state is managing hundreds of cases, with several reported deaths.
The New York Times reports at least three of those death are from the same family. NJ.com is reporting a fourth member of that family has now died.
The newspaper says 73-year-old Grace Fusco died on Wednesday, just hours after her son, Carmine Fusco, succumbed to the virus and days following her daughter's death at the hands of COVID-19.
A relative told the Times that four other members of the Fusco family, all of whom are children, also tested positive for the virus. Three of the four were reportedly hospitalized in critical condition.
Gov. Murphy joined Good Day on Thursday morning and confirmed the Times report. The governor reiterated that the state continues to take action and residents should not take the coronavirus lightly.
"The basic stuff here is that no one is above this," Gov. Murphy said. "Even if you're a young person, you could be unwittingly carrying this and infecting your grandmother or grandfather."
With New York considering mulling the option of a full shelter-in-place order, Gov. Murphy tells Good Day he has been in contact with leaders of Pennsylvania, New York, and Connecticut about the possibility.
"If you're going to do it, you've got to do it right," Gov. Murphy said. "It's a devastating step, but it may be one that's necessary."
New Jersey alone is the most densely populated state in the country, which makes confining residents to their homes a gigantic economic risk to an already financially dire situation.
"We're going to pay an enormous economic price here, all of us," Gov. Murphy said. "We're going to need from the federal government a lot of money, I think our region alone - including Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Conneciticut - we may need $100B in block grants."
In reaction to the rising number of cases, and continued crisis the state finds itself in, Gov. Murphy says New Jersey is working to add hospital beds wherever they can. The state is evaluating closed wings of hospitals, decommissioned hospitals and college dormitories.
New Jersey has acted aggressively to quell the spread of the virus. To date, the state has closed all schools and non-essential businesses, enacted a travel restriction and closed casinos. While Gov. Murphy acknowledges these actions come as a heavy blow to the state's economy, he believes they are crucial steps in the fight against COVID-19.
"You crush your economy, that's the bad news. The hope for good news is you flatten the curve so that you take the pressure off the healthcare system, so down the road and at the same time save lives and keep fewer people from getting sick."
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The Associated Press contributed to this report.