CHICAGO (WLS) -- Cook County has reached a grim milestone as in less than five months, the medical examiner's office has surpassed its caseload for all of 2019.
In all of 2019, the medical examiner's office investigated 6,274 deaths. Last Saturday, the office surpassed that number and as of Wednesday, the office has dealt with 6,586 deaths.
"I am so grateful to the personnel at the Medical Examiner's Office who have worked around the clock since March to keep up with a mounting caseload," said President Preckwinkle. "The men and women who are tasked with chronicling these deaths have one of the most difficult jobs during this pandemic."
"I thank our dedicated team who realizes how critical our role is in this pandemic and take that responsibility very seriously," said Chief Medical Examiner Ponni Arunkumar. "The decedents under our care are treated the way we'd want our loved ones to be treated. It's a guiding principle in our office."
Preckwinkle noted homicides and overdoses have not declined as it deals with more than 3,700 deaths from COVID-19.
Coronavirus Illinois: Cook County ME's caseload for 2020 surpasses total for 2019
The office has dealt with 3,700 COVID-19 deaths