Following an inquiry by the Landmark about a discrepancy between information released by the county regarding the April 24 death of a 69-year-old Brookfield man and information on the man’s death certificate, the Cook County Medical Examiner has reversed its determination that the man died as a result of COVID-19.
“For that case, it has now been changed,” said Natalia Derevyanny, spokesperson for the Medical Examiner’s Office.
As a result, the man’s case file has been removed from the medical examiner’s database and its online dashboard tracking COVID-19 deaths in suburban Cook County was updated May 1. The dashboard reflects that, to date, no Brookfield residents have been reported as dying from COVID-19.
According to Derevyanny, the error was the result of a “page-break issue” in the database used to record causes of death in cases handled by the medical examiner.
“The medical records were sent to us, but the way it was broken up, it looked like the COVID test was positive,” Derevyanny said. “It wound up being a page-break issue.”
Derevyanny also was able to clear up another apparent discrepancy encountered by the Landmark, this time regarding a COVID-19 case in Riverside.
The village’s fire chief confirmed last month that a 58-year-old Riverside man who died on April 11 had tested positive for COVID-19, but that case was not reflected in the county’s reporting for Riverside.
As of the morning of May 5, the county’s online dashboard still stated that Riverside had zero COVID-19 fatalities.
However, on April 30, Derevyanny confirmed that the 58-year-old Riverside man did die as a result of COVID-19. He wasn’t being linked to Riverside because his home address was not listed in the medical examiner’s database.
Riverside paramedics transported the man to Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, where he later died. A check of the medical examiner’s online case database on the morning of May 5 still shows that the hospital’s address listed as the “incident address” for the case.
In addition to the one fatality from COVID-19 now confirmed by the Medical Examiner’s Office, as of the morning of May 5, Riverside had 41 cases where a resident had tested positive for COVID-19.
North Riverside also had 41 cases, including two fatalities, on March 31 and April 15. Meanwhile, the total number of COVID-19 cases in Brookfield jumped to 81 by May 5.
While none of the towns saw the dramatic increases in case numbers experienced during the first weeks of April, the number of new cases in the past week increased steadily in all three villages, between 20 and 24 percent.
And the Landmark’s coverage area is immediately adjacent to one of suburban Cook County’s COVID-19 hotspots. Cicero ranked No. 1 in the number of positive cases in the county as of Tuesday morning with 1,270, while Berwyn was third in Cook County with 598.
Combined, 45 people have died in Berwyn and Cicero from COVID-19.