Chesterton Tribune



Cyndi Dykes says Coroner Office prepared for C19 surge

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Porter County Coroner Cyndi Dykes is reporting that, as Gov. Eric Holcomb moves gradually to re-open the state’s economy, her office is prepared.

“As Indiana enters the stages set forth by Gov. Eric Holcomb to safely open the state’s economy, I want to report to the citizens of Porter County that the Porter County Coroner’s Office is prepared during this COVID-19 pandemic,” Dykes stated in her first-quarter report, released on Wednesday.

“My 11 deputy coroners are Indiana State Certified Medicolegal Death Investigators and though they are trained and equipped to respond to all types of death scenes in Porter County, investigating a death scene potentially resulting from COVID-19 is new to all of us,” Dykes noted. “Our response vehicles have been equipped and the deputies have been supplied with the appropriate personal protective equipment and I have set forth new fatality management protocols in accordance with the Indiana State Department of Health, Centers for Disease Control, and Indiana State Coroners Association regarding death investigations, autopsies, and toxicology collection procedures.”

To date, the Porter County Coroner’s Office has investigated two deaths which were “highly possible exposure cases to COVID-19” but were negative after testing. Also to date, all 10 COVID-19 deaths in Porter County occurred within healthcare facilities.

As of April 30 of this year, the Porter County Coroner’s Office has responded to 141 reported deaths, including two homicides; six suicides; five deaths related to motor vehicle accidents; and seven fatal overdoses, “primarily related to Fentanyl.”

“The statistics during the same time period in 2019 indicate a lower number of heroin-related deaths, homicides, and suicides, with an increase in motor vehicle collision fatalities,” Dykes said.

“I have worked and will continue to work closely with Porter County emergency responders in the field, Porter County EMA and the Porter County Health Department, Porter Regional Hospital, Centers for Disease Control, Indiana State Department of Health, Indiana State Coroners Association, Indiana Department of Homeland Security, and the District 1 coroners in Lake, LaPorte, Jasper, and Newton counties,” Dykes said.

“Through these stages of opening the state, please continue to make a conscious effort to practice safe social-distancing,” Dykes added. “Be positive, patient, kind, and empathetic. The elderly and ill are most vulnerable so please check on your elderly neighbors, family, and friends. This is not a drill and as Hoosiers we need to move forward together and be safe.”



Posted 5/8/2020




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