Citing a marked uptick in case volume in her office in recent months, Kenosha County Medical Examiner Patrice Hall is strongly urging people to stay home and avoid gatherings this holiday season as COVID-19 continues to claim lives.
“The numbers are stark,” said Hall, whose office handles death investigations and signs off on death certificates in cases that fall under Kenosha County jurisdiction. “In all of 2019, our office signed 274 death certificates. This year, through Dec. 17, we’ve signed 531.”
This year’s total includes all deaths involving COVID-19, whether the person died as a direct result of the virus or due to a combination of the virus and other pre-existing conditions.
In November, the Medical Examiner’s Office saw particularly notable increase in deaths reported: 217 cases, compared with 141 in November 2019 and 121 in November 2018. For December, the office has received 101 cases through Thursday; the full-month totals were 123 in 2019 and 116 in 2018.
Through Thursday, 190 Kenosha County residents have lost their lives to COVID-19, according to data from the Kenosha County Division of Health. (Note: This total includes Kenosha County residents whose deaths occurred in other jurisdictions; conversely, Medical Examiner’s Office data includes cases involving nonresidents who died in Kenosha County.)
“I know that we are now many months into this pandemic, people are missing getting together with their family and friends, and many are tired of hearing the warnings about the virus,” Hall said. “But this is truly a matter of life and death. COVID-19 is continuing to take lives, and now is not yet the time to back off on our vigilance in trying to slow the spread of the virus.”
“I beg people to stay within your own family, your own household this holiday season,” Hall added. “Do not spend time with people who do not live in your house. It’s not worth the risk.”
More information about COVID-19, including local data and links to tips and resources, is available on the Kenosha County COVID-19 Response Hub website, at https://www.kenoshacounty.org/covid-19.