Dr. Gerald Glisson, the principal of operations at Eastside High School in Paterson, has died.

District Superintendent Eileen Shafer announced the death of the 46-year-old, who has served in the position since 2017, in a email sent late Sunday night. She did not reveal a cause of death in her email.

Relatives told RLS Metro Breaking News Glisson's death was related to the novel coronavirus. Multiple people who knew Glisson told the Paterson Press he had recently tested positive for the virus.

Paterson has the highest number of positive cases of COVID-19 in Passaic County, At 5,536, according to the county health department. The state Department of Health reports 13,364 positive cases in Passaic County, with 632 deaths.

"Words cannot describe the magnitude of this loss. Dr. Glisson will long be remembered for his strong integrity and steadfast character. Please keep his family in your prayers at this most difficult time," Shafer wrote in her email.

Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh, who tested positive for COVID-19, said on his Facebook page the news left him "numb."

"Losing a leader like him leaves me at a loss for words. Gerald Glisson was a husband, a father to two daughters and a father figure to countless others. Paterson, he was a real role model. Please pray for his family," Sayegh wrote.

The superintendent said Glisson's wife, Michelle, also works in the district.

Paterson native and former Giant football player Victor Cruz wrote on his Instagram "I don’t even know what to say.. rest easy Coach G."

The Eastside High School football program  called Glisson "a father, a mentor, a life coach. A man who impacted every life that he came across," in a message on the team's official Twitter account.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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