Louisiana Mother and Her 3 Sons Die Just Days Apart After Contracting Coronavirus: 'It's Horrific'

“I want the world to know if it happened to the Franklin family, it could happen to any family,” Jacqueline Franklin told the outlet. “Let’s take this serious, my children have to bury their father, their precious grandmother and their uncles. Let’s not let this happen to another family.”

A memorial service was held for the brothers was held on Friday and for Antoinette on Saturday.

The New Orleans Coroner’s Office did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment, though a spokesperson for the department confirmed to NBC News that all four family members tested positive for COVID-19.

It’s unclear if the tests were conducted before or after their deaths. Their causes of death have not been released.

Louisiana has been one of the states in the nation hardest hit by the virus. As of Tuesday, there have been at least 16,284 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 582 deaths from coronavirus-related illness, according to a New York Times database.

In the United States, there have been at least 395,090 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 12,786 deaths as of Tuesday.

The first cases of a mysterious respiratory illness — what is now known as COVID-19, a form of coronavirus — began in Wuhan, China in late December. Since then, the virus has spread worldwide, leading the World Health Organization to declare a public health emergency, the first since the zika epidemic in 2016.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. To help provide doctors and nurses on the front lines with life-saving medical resources, donate to Direct Relief here.

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