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Cook County death toll from COVID-19 reaches 12,000

The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office (MEO) marked another grim pandemic milestone this week. The MEO confirmed the county’s 12,000th death due to COVID-19 infection 20 months after the first fatal case of the virus was confirmed here.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, 5,818 COVID-19 deaths have occurred in the Chicago, accounting for approximately 48% of deaths in the county. Nearly 70% of Chicago’s COVID-19 deaths were in communities of color.

White people accounted for 27% of the deaths in the county, Black people 39%, Latino people 28%, Asian people 3% and Native American people less than 1%. Another 2% were of unknown race or ethnicity.

Males accounted for 59% and females accounted for 41% of the deaths. Nearly 80% of the deaths occurred in individuals over the age of 60. The oldest Cook County COVID-19 death was 109 years old. The youngest was 9 months old.


“I urge everyone to please get vaccinated,” said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. “The holidays are upon us which means many of us are spending time with family and friends. Protect yourself and your loved ones by choosing to get vaccinated.”

All Cook County residents 5 years or older are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Children under 18 can only receive the Pfizer vaccine and must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Vaccines are free, regardless of insurance or immigration status.

Find a vaccine location in Cook County by visiting www.MyShotCookCounty.com.

Individuals 18 and older who have received both doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines are now eligible for a single booster dose six months after their last shot. Individuals who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are eligible to receive a single booster dose two months after their initial shot.

Following the completion of their primary vaccine, residents can choose a different vaccine for their booster dose.

For data regarding COVID-19 deaths in Cook County, visit maps.cookcountyil.gov/medexamcovid19/.

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