By JOHN T. WARD
Neither of the two Little Silver siblings who contracted the dangerous COVID-19 coronavirus feels seriously ill at this point, they told the Asbury Park Press in an interview published Monday.
Liva Helt, 17 (above right) and her 27-year-old brother, Emil Helt, “spent Sunday watching TV, playing board games and waiting for the symptoms to subside so they can rejoin the rest of the world,” Press reporters Michael Diamond and Daniel Logiudice wrote.
“Luckily, none of the two kids have been really, really sick,” their mother, Pernille Helt said.
Liva is a senior at Red Bank Regional High School, which became the first school in the state to shut down in an effort to help slow the transmission of the COVID-19 contagion.
The Press article addresses rumors that had spread on social media, including one “that Liva had a party at their home while she knew she was sick. (She didn’t, although she did have a surprise party in early February for her best friend, her parents said),” according to the article.
Liva, who is slated to attend Columbia University in the fall, is a soccer star who gained additional fame in 2018 as the kicker on RBR’s football team. Last month, she was one of 10 RBR students awarded Academic Award Letters for earning straight A’s in all four marking periods in the 2018-2019 school-year.
According to the Press, Emil “had just returned from Boston,” where his employer produced a conference for the drug company Biogen, when he developed a sniff and cough, and then a runny nose. He stayed home from work for a couple of days, taking ibuprofen and DayQuil, the Press said.
On his return to work in New York, his boss informed him and colleagues that they should be tested because there had been a coronavirus outbreak at the conference.
The article details the steps that led Emil to being tested on Friday, March 6 at Riverview Medical Center in Red Bank, and then to self-quarantining himself on the third floor of the family home.
Though Pernille had a runny nose and wasn’t feeling well, neither she nor her husband, Jesper Helt, contracted the virus.
Still “the entire family has been quarantined since late in the day of March 6,” the same day Liva returned home from school aching and tired, but without a fever, the Press reported.
Her brother’s test came back positive on Monday, March 9. Liva and her mother were tested at Riverview that day; Liva’s was positive, and Pernille’s was negative.
“Health officials quizzed Liva on her seat assignments and who might have been sitting within a six-foot radius of her” at school, the article said.
(As previously reported by redbankgreen, “the Monmouth County Regional Health Authority said in an announcement that its Communicable Disease Team was investigating the student’s “close contacts” – prolonged exposure within six feet of a presumed virus carrier – “which would have only occurred on March 6, 2020.”)
Jesper “still has shown no symptoms of the disease,” the Press said.
A third Little Silver resident, identified by officials only as an adult female, is also presumed by health officials to have the virus, redbankgreen reported Sunday.
Mayor Bob Neff said the woman was self-quarantined at home. She is neither a relative nor neighbor of the Helts, he said.
The Murphy Administration says two new Jersey deaths have been attributed to the virus, the latest a woman in her 50s who died last Thursday at Centra State Medical Center in Freehold Township. According to NJ.com, the woman, Rita Fusco, of Freehold, had attended a family gathering after which “several other” attendees tested positive for COVID-19.
One of Fusco’s siblings was friends with, and interacted with John Brennan, of Little Ferry in of Bergen County, the first New Jersey person known to have died from the virus, the news site reported.
The state also reported Sunday that New Jersey’s presumed positive cases rose to 98, from 69 on Saturday, including an additional Monmouth County case, bringing that total to 12, up from 8.