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Duane Northrup - Tumultuous 2020

Duane Northrup has worked at the Champaign County Coroner's office since 2001 and has served as the Coroner since 2004. Throughout the interview he discusses how the coroner's office has changed since 2004 as well as the different aspects of the job. He also details the preliminary steps he took in order to prepare for the COVID-19 pandemic before it hit central Illinois. The spread of the virus presented a variety of challenges to Northrup and his staff because of the constant risk of exposure to COVID-19. Northrup details these risks and the ways they responded to them. By the end of 2020, the case number for the coroner's office had doubled from 2019. In 2021, the challenges brought on by the pandemic had shifted. While they were still exposed to the virus, the vaccine provided a layer of protection. However, because of the increased work load, burnout became more apparent and three of Northrup's investigators resigned within months of each other. Throughout the interview Northrup goes into detail about these experiences and closes by reflecting on 2020 and the following years.

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Feature Excerpt

Northrup details how the Champaign County Coroner's Office began preparing for the pandemic.


Interview session (Audio)

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