Did the Cook County Medical Examiner Cure Covid Deaths?
Looks like it.
Has the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office cured covid-related deaths?
I ask because the number of deaths related the virus has plummeted since the CCME stopped taking jurisdiction over all hospital, nursing home, and hospice facility covid-19 deaths on April 1, 2022.
Graphs of daily deaths and weekly deaths from CCME and CDC WONDER, respectively, shown below.
Prior to the pandemic response, the Cook County Medical Examiner only handled deaths in healthcare facilities when a non-natural cause was involved or suspected, or causes were natural but needed to be investigated for another reason.
In March 2020, the agency assumed authority over virtually every death in the county, swabbing incoming bodies for covid-19, including accident, drug/alcohol-related, and suicide deaths.
Waves of excess mortality and covid-related deaths in Cook County have coincided with the Governor of Illinois’ “stay home” orders and flu/respiratory virus seasonality. The percent of all weekly deaths with covid on the death certificate peaked at 39.38% in May 2020, dropped to 29.94% in December 2021, and rose to 37.29% during the so-called Omicron surge.
Eighty-four percent of Cook County’s population has received at least one dose of the covid shot and 75% have completed a primary series. Among those who are fully vaccinated and eligible, 57% have received one booster; 53% of boosted residents age 50+ are double-boosted.
Maybe the decline in covid-attributed deaths has little to do with the CCEM’s April 1, 2022 jurisdiction change, and more to do with a seasonal declines plus second boosters for the older crowd?
I’m not sure, but it appears someone/something has started to cure non-covid respiratory deaths too.
Should be an interesting winter….
UPDATE: You can review each covid-related death in Cook County on the medical examiner’s dedicated archive page.