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Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle Issues Social Distancing Executive Order for Cook County Employees

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle today (March 16, 2020) issued an executive order limiting public access to County facilities and reducing the number of employees in Offices Under the President required to work on-site.

Under Executive Order 2020-3, essential functions of government will continue while protecting the public and the County employee population through a reduction in the footprint in County facilities.

“This executive order is an important step toward encouraging social distancing and working to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” President Preckwinkle said. “We are facing this immense challenge with swift and strong preventative measures. By reducing foot traffic in the County Building and reducing the number of people in all our County facilities, we are taking decisive and dramatic steps to stop the spread of the coronavirus.”

As part of the executive order, starting Wednesday, President Preckwinkle is reducing operations to essential services necessary to operate County government, suspending non-essential County operations and reducing the number of employees required to work at County facilities in Offices Under the President. These temporary changes will include reducing schedules, requiring some employees to continue to work on-site and directing others to work remotely. The separately elected offices and independent agencies are encouraged to implement similar policies to the extent possible.

Employees working on-site will be required to limit meetings to conference calls or other electronically available meeting platforms and if employees must hold in-person meetings, social distancing is being recommended.

“I continue to urge all of our residents to follow the guidance from the County, State and federal health agencies, and to take practical steps to protect themselves and their loved ones,” Preckwinkle added.

Previously, President Preckwinkle issued an executive order canceling meetings of various boards, commissions and advisory boards created by County ordinance or resolution to the extent possible during the remainder of March and in April. A second executive order cancelled all work-related travel by County employees for conferences, continuing education, seminars and lobbying activities occurring outside of the County through May 1, unless such travel is deemed essential by the employee’s department head, bureau chief or by the controlling elected or agency official.

For the full executive orders and all updates on Cook County’s response to COVID-19, visit our website.


Cook County is the second largest county in the United States representing 5.2 million residents in Illinois. The President of the Cook County Board of Commissioners is the chief executive officer (CEO) of Cook County and oversees the Offices Under the President and presides as president of the Forest Preserves of Cook County.

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