Cook County Medical Examiner COVID-19 Data

Effective April 1, 2022, the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office no longer takes jurisdiction over hospital, nursing home or hospice COVID-19 deaths unless there is another factor that falls within the Office’s jurisdiction. Data continues to be collected for COVID-19 deaths in Cook County on the Illinois Dept. of Public Health COVID-19 dashboard.

Last Updated: April 8, 2022

How do I find comprehensive data for deaths due to COVID-19 on or after April 1, 2022 in Cook County?: 

Data continues to be collected for COVID-19 deaths in Cook County on the Illinois Dept. of Public Health COVID-19 dashboard.

Why will the MEO’s stop taking jurisdiction of COVID-19 related deaths?

The Office began taking jurisdiction over COVID-19 deaths in 2020 when much less was understood about the virus. Based on the information available to the medical community today, and generally accepted practice by medical examiners and coroners nationally, the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office has determined that treating physicians may designate cause of death in COVID-19 cases.

Will Cook County’s COVID-19 dashboard remain active?

The MEO’s COVID-19 dashboard will remain live and contain data for all COVID-19 deaths confirmed by the MEO through March 31, 2022.

What is the purpose of this data?

Cook County Government has created the Medical Examiner COVID-19 Dashboard to provide direct, transparent access to critical information about COVID-19 deaths in the County for public health agencies, medical professionals, first responders, journalists, policymakers and residents. The Medical Examiner’s Office encourages visitors to use this data to explore trends, identify areas of concern and take appropriate action. The data can be utilized to identify communities that are most severely impacted by the virus and can inform proactive public policy.

How is race and ethnicity defined? Why are Latinos in a separate category? 

Racial classifications are based on U.S. Census Bureau categories. The U.S. Census Bureau defines “Latino” as an ethnicity and therefore may be of any racial group.

What is the process for determination of race and ethnicity?

The Medical Examiner’s Office relies on data provided by reporting agencies such as hospitals and police departments to provide demographic information about each decedent, including age, gender, race, address and other identifying data. Next of kin provides data related to ethnicity to the funeral home when making final arrangements for the deceased. The Office then adds that information to its database.* 
*During the COVID-19 pandemic the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office has experienced a significant delay in families making final arrangements for decedents under the Office’s jurisdiction. Therefore, this dashboard may not have updated ethnicity information for decedents until several weeks after their death.

Can I find individual addresses for cases?

This dashboard contains summary-level data at the municipal level. In order to obtain more detailed information about individual cases, visit the ME Examiner Case Archive.

Where does this data come from?

This data Is generated by the Medical Examiner's case database. The Medical Examiner's Office obtains demographic data from vital records, hospitals, police departments and families.

Why doesn't this data match the data from the departments of public health? How often is it updated?

This dashboard is updated every day at 6 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Data may differ because agencies report at different times and are also notified of COVID-19 positive results at different times by hospitals and healthcare facilities. The Medical Examiner’s Office actively collaborates with health departments to ensure that these agencies have access to Medical Examiner data.

View the COVID-19 cases in the full Medical Examiner case archive.
Visit Cook County's main information page on COVID-19, or visit the Cook County Department of Public Health's COVID-19 website.