Riverside Fire Chief Matthew Buckley announced during his COVID-19 update for village trustees at their meeting on May 7 that a second Riverside resident has died from the upper respiratory disease resulting from infection by the novel coronavirus.

According to Buckley, Riverside paramedics transported a 76-year-old man to MacNeal Hospital in Berwyn, where he died, on May 4. The man tested positive for COVID-19, Buckley said.

Last month, Buckley confirmed that a 58-year-old Riverside man had died of COVID-19, on April 11. The Cook County Medical Examiner’s online dashboard tracking deaths from COVID-19 still lists Riverside as having zero fatalities from the disease, despite a spokeswoman from the medical examiner’s office confirming the April 11 death last week.

The Cook County Department of Public Health, meanwhile, is reporting that as of the morning of May 12, there were 56 people in Riverside who had tested positive for COVID-19, a roughly 37-percent increase in new cases since the morning of May 5.

That’s Riverside’s highest rate of new cases reported since April 21 and represents the second straight week where the number of new cases has increased at a higher rate than the week before.

Buckley told trustees that the increase in new positives results was likely due to an increase in testing for COVID-19 in Illinois. During Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s daily press conference on the pandemic, he stated that the number of tests performed in the latest 24-hour period had exceeded 20,000 for the first time.

“I expect this number [COVID-19 cases in Riverside] to increase over the next few weeks,” Buckley told trustees. “The reason for this increase in positive cases is due to the increase in testing being offered.”


Brookfield fatality reported

A week after the Cook County Medical Examiner erroneously reported that a Brookfield man had died as a result of COVID-19, the agency determined this week that another man suspected to have died from COVID-19 did test positive for the disease.

The 77-year-old Brookfield man died on April 19 and his cause of death had been listed as “pending” for more than two weeks before being updated by the medical examiner’s office last week. He became the first resident to succumb to the disease in Brookfield, according to the Cook County Department of Public Health.

As of the morning of May 12, the number of people testing positive for COVID-19 in Brookfield was listed as 99 by the county. 

For the past three weeks, the rate of new cases reported in Brookfield has been steady at between 22 and 24 percent.


No new cases in North Riverside

The Cook County Department of Public Health on the morning of May 12 reported that 42 North Riverside residents had tested positive for COVID-19.

At just one new case since the morning of May 5, it was the smallest week-over-week increase in new cases (at 2 percent) in the village since mid-April, but the village’s case numbers have been erratic over the past six weeks, with slow weeks followed by rapid increases in new cases the next.

Two North Riverside residents, both 73-year-old men, have died from the disease. Those fatalities occurred on March 31 and April 15.


North Riverside mayor sources 4,000 masks

North Riverside Mayor Hubert Hermanek announced at the village board’s May 11 meeting, which was held via teleconference, that he had obtained 4,000 three-layer face masks, which will be distributed at no charge to any resident upon request.

Residents can call the police department’s records line at 708-762-5431 to get on the daily delivery list. To date, North Riverside has distributed nearly 1,000 masks, according to Village Administrator Sue Scarpiniti.

Hermanek said he was contacted by former Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin last week about the opportunity to obtain masks from Chicago businessman and 2015 Chicago mayoral candidate Willie Wilson.

Wilson on May 9 handed out thousands of masks at three churches on Chicago’s south and west sides. Hermanek went to House of Hope, the South Side church where former state senator Rev. James Meeks is pastor, to collect two boxes of masks for North Riverside.

Mayors from suburban Bellwood and Maywood were also present to collect masks at Good Hope Church, said Hermanek.

Hermanek also announced Monday that the village will offer drive-thru vehicle sticker renewal every Wednesday evening from 3 to 7 p.m., in the rear lot of the Village Commons, 2401 Desplaines Ave., weather permitting, beginning May 13 through at least the end of the month.

Just bring a completed application and a check or credit card (no cash) and it will be safely processed as you wait.