Daily Journal

Daily Journal staff report

Through May 2020, there were 711 deaths recorded in Kankakee County.

That’s up 81 deaths from the same time last year, when the county recorded 637 deaths through May 2019, Kankakee County Coroner Bob Gessner said.

Through June 9, 59 of the 711 deaths were due to COVID-19. A death is considered coronavirus related when the primary care physician or coroner includes the virus as the cause of death or a contributing condition to the death on the death certificate.

Of those 59 deaths, 100% have had previously documented medical history, according to the coroner’s office. Forty percent have been under the care of hospice and 68% have occurred in long-term care facilities. The average age of coronavirus-related deaths is 81 years old, with the youngest at 48 and oldest at 97. There have been 32 males and 27 females. Racial percentage of the deaths are as follows: 83% Caucasian, 8% African American, 7% Hispanic and 2% Asian Indian.

The Kankakee County Coroner’s Office has been regularly providing these death statistics via its Facebook page.

Outside of coronavirus-related deaths, there have been 24 drug overdose deaths with two other cases awaiting toxicology reports. Gessner told the County Board’s Criminal Justice Committee on Wednesday that OD deaths are on a pace to reach the 56 deaths recorded in 2017. There were 28 OD deaths in 2019 and 29 in 2018.

The county has seen eight suicides so far this year. Gessner said there were 19 total in 2019.

There have been five motor vehicle fatalities this year, compared to 20 in 2019 and 10 in 2018. In both 2017 and 2016, there were 22 deaths as a result of motor vehicle crashes.

In all of 2019, 1,230 deaths were recorded in the county as compared to 1,274 recorded in 2018.

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