Coroner Reports Increase in Deaths in County in 2021


Published on December 27 2021 2:16 pm
Last Updated on December 27 2021 2:16 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

Effingham County Coroner Kim Rhodes said that 442 deaths were reported in the county for the one-year period ending November 30, 2021

That's an increase from 364 the previous year.

A large percentage of the increase in deaths was due to COVID. There were 74 COVID-19 related deaths, compared to 33 the previous year.

108 of the deaths occurred in nursing homes, 118 in private residences, 38 in the HSHS St. Anthony's Emergency Room, 100 while a patient in the hospital, and 26 in assisted living facilities.

Nine were due to motor vehicle fatalities, three due to suicides, and eight due to fatal drug overdoses. There were six fatalities described as other deaths.

Rhodes listed as accomplishments during 2021 the continuing allowance of students, interns and other medical professionals to observe autopsies with forensic pathologist Dr. James Jacobi.


--Rhodes' office destroyed 18,295 prescription pills in the last year and numerous toxicology samples no longer needed for evidence

--all personal belongings and articles returned to the next-of-kin in a timely manner, including cash, wallets, purses, jewelry, cell phones, clothing, credit or debit cards, and watches

--completing mandatory training required by the Illinois Coroner Training Board

--made 10 out of state "next of kin' notifications

--continued what Rhodes termed "the excellent working relationships with the agencies they work with on a daily basis"

As far as budget issues for the fiscal year, Rhodes said her office transported 23 individuals in the coroner's van to the morgue and other locations, resulting in a savings of more than $8,000...and saved $9,800 by not taking retirement and insurance, resulting in a total savings of $37,055.

Rhodes reported the Coroner's budget was $135,630, while expenditures totaled $116,374, under budget by $19,255.