Skip to contents

No, 15 People Didn’t Die Of Cold Overnight In Chicago. But Here’s How You Can Help People In Need

Here's how you can help people affected by this week's dangerous cold.

A snowy morning near the lakefront.
Pat Nabong/Block Club Chicago
  • Credibility:

NORTH CENTER — Social media has been swirling with rumors that more than a dozen people have died from the cold in Chicago in one night.

The rumors started spreading amid a cold snap that’s made it feel as cold as 50 degrees below zero in the city. Posts on Twitter, Facebook and other sites have claimed as many as 15 to 20 people died overnight due to the extreme cold.

While the rumors of mass deaths aren’t true, there have been a number of cold-related deaths this season. As of 5 p.m. Tuesday, the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office had recorded 20 such deaths throughout the entire county this winter.

The most recent cold-related death came Monday when a 39-year-old man died from heart disease with hypothermia as a contributing factor, according to the Medical Examiner’s Office.

No new cold-related deaths had been recorded as of noon Wednesday, a spokeswoman for the office said, though it’s possible more will be reported.

Still, this week’s bitter cold is dangerous. The National Weather Service has warned frostbite can occur in as little as five minutes during the coldest parts of the arctic blast, and hypothermia and death are possible under these conditions.

For those looking to make a difference and help those impacted by the cold, here’s what you can do:

The extreme cold is expected to end Thursday afternoon, and the weather will be back to the 40s this weekend.