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Why Peoria County Added 7 Additional Deaths To Its COVID-19 Fatality Count

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Tim Shelley / Peoria Public Radio
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Peoria County Coroner Jamie Harwood speaks at the health department's weekly COVID-19 briefing, Nov. 5, 2020.

Peoria County is adding seven more COVID-19 fatalities from weeks or even months ago to its death toll.
The county says those deaths met its COVID-19 criteria, but didn't fall within the health department's 30-day monitoring window after testing. All of the fatalities involved elderly people.

But they were noted on death certificates from Peoria County Coroner Jamie Harwood, who said he looks at a wider timeline.

"If I have someone who passes away that tested positive, was symptomatic to a degree of weight loss or respiratory symptoms--maybe they were on a ventilator--and then they had a relapse of symptoms. Even if it was past that 30 days, it's still relevant to their cause of death, so it might have gone past that 30-day recommendation."

Peoria City/County Health Department Administrator Monica Hendrickson said a review of processes using state vital statistics records and consulting with Harwood's office turned up the new data.

"We've noted that there were those seven deaths with individuals who previously tested COVID positive, but were past our monitoring period, but still within the period that Jamie would have looked over, in terms of the death certificate," she said.

Those added to the county's fatality list after the review include:

  • Female 90s, resident of University Rehab, Date of Death (DOD): 07/15/20 
  • Female 80s, resident of Grandview Alzheimer's, DOD: 07/22/20
  • Male 80s, not a resident of a long-term care facility, DOD: 07/25/20
  • Female 90s, resident of Grandview Alzheimer's, DOD: 08/20/20
  • Male 90s, not a resident of a long-term care facility, DOD: 09/01/20
  • Male 80s, resident of Generations Peoria, DOD: 10/21/20
  • Female 80s, not a resident of a long-term care facility, DOD: 10/22/20

With two additional deaths also reported from overnight Wednesday, the county's death toll to date is now 83, as of Thursday afternoon.
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