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Longtime 911 operator dies of COVID-19

Rusell Modjeski, 60, was pronounced dead about 7:15 a.m. March 29, the medical examiner’s office said.

A 911 operator for the Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications died of COVID-19 on March 29, 2020.
A 911 operator for the Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications died of COVID-19 on March 29, 2020.
Sun-Times file photo

A longtime Chicago 911 operator died from complications of the coronavirus last month.

Rusell Modjeski, 60, was pronounced dead about 7:15 a.m. March 29, the medical examiner’s office said. Officials announced Friday that he died of COVID-19 infection with diabetes and hypertension as contributing factors.

“An all-around good person and friend to many, Russ will be missed,” the Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications wrote in a tweet Friday. “Our sympathies go out to his family, friends and co-workers.”

He worked for the office for more than 20 years, according to an OEMC Facebook post.

As of Friday, 438 COVID-19 deaths had been confirmed in Cook County, with a total of 596 in the state of Illinois, officials said. So far, 17,887 people in the state have tested positive for the disease.