New Jersey ER Doctor Dies One Week After Exhibiting COVID-19 Symptoms

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A New Jersey ER doctor has died in his New York City apartment just one week after he noticed coronavirus symptoms, his family and colleagues told NBC News.

Dr. Frank Gabrin of East Orange General Hospital woke up Tuesday morning with chest pain, according to his husband Arnold Vargas. Vargas said they called the NYPD but before help arrived 30 minutes later, Gabrin had passed away in Vargas' arms.

Gabrin was not tested for COVID-19 but as a healthcare professional, Vargas said they were quite sure his husband was infected. Gabrin stayed home as of March 26 after he started feeling ill, Vargas said.

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Dr. Alvaro Alban, the Chairman of the Emergency Department at East Orange General Hospital, confirmed Gabrin's death to NBC News, saying the doctor was "delightful, caring and wonderful to work with."

“He had every intention to help. He was eager to keep working in the E.D. and was disappointed when he started to get symptoms. His intention was that his fever would break. Dr. Gabrin was motivated, on a mission and wanted to keep working," Alban said in a statement.

Across the Garden State, Gov. Phil Murphy says dozens of other deaths were reported on Tuesday, the largest single-day increase to date, bringing its total to 267.

Murphy also said a Passaic firefighter was among the new fatalities. Israel Tolentino was only 33 years old and he is survived behind his wife, Maria, and two children.

"We thank everyone on front lines, especially unsung and overlooked heroes out there working in our communities," Murphy said at a news conference Monday.

The governor reiterated that while first responders are out there risking their lives to help those infected with the coronavirus, everyone else's job is to stay home to stop the spread.

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