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The Coronavirus, the Cook County Sheriff’s Office and You

Home > The Coronavirus, the Cook County Sheriff’s Office and You

As officials and healthcare professionals at the national level, in the State of Illinois and Cook County continue to address the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) and issue daily updates, the Cook County Sheriff’s Office continues to work with those stakeholders. We also remain committed to regularly updating you with key information.

We are taking the best approach to the safety and security of Cook County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) staff and everyone with whom we interact in the Cook County Department of Corrections (CCDOC), at Cook County Courthouses and other public facilities and in our communities.

Health concerns such as those we all face with COVID-19 present an ever-changing picture. CCSO personnel throughout the County embrace our responsibility with the utmost dedication to public safety. Each day, we review procedures and make any changes necessary. For example, please see our new precautionary measures for visitors to CCDOC; you can find them at https://www.cookcountysheriff.org/ccdoc-visitors/ .  

The numbers clearly show that social distancing, hygienic care and other measures listed below are helping in the battle against COVID-19. That’s why such careful behavior remains critical in effectively fighting the coronavirus. Meanwhile, as dramatically increased testing continues, the total number of citizens diagnosed with this virus grows – as was expected to happen with so much more testing (now approaching 1.8 million tests in Illinois). Illinois, with a population of nearly 13 million, has 147,865 people who now have or previously had the virus.

Daily reported deaths from the coronavirus in our state are much fewer now than in previous months (for example: Saturday – 10, Sunday – six, Monday – six) but it has, sadly, taken 7,026 lives here. Each loss reminds us of the need to follow all public health guidelines, including wearing face masks.

The number of new cases in this state dropped for five straight weeks in May and June, a record better than any other highly-populated state. Amid record testing, new cases increased in the past two weeks. Importantly, Illinois’ rate of positive test results [measured in seven-day periods] began steadily dropping in May, and that trend continues – with it falling even more in June and July. In late June, the state’s positivity rates stood at only two per cent (2%) on three straight days; that was the all-time low rate since major testing ramped up here. It has been just 2.6% for seven straight days now and was 2.7% last Monday. On 13 other days since mid-June, it was 3%.

Also, the numbers of COVID-19 hospital patients, individual ICU patients and those on ventilators have gone down by more than two-thirds since May 1st. To continue this solid progress, we must remain vigilant and follow the simple steps outlined below to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The “opening” of various aspects of society does NOT mean people are less capable of spreading COVID-19.

It is imperative that all citizens follow current policies and recommendations of the State of Illinois and all local requirements to help citizens stay safe. Recent weeks have brought many changes announced by Governor Pritzker and officials of Chicago and other municipalities in Cook County. Please be sure you know what is still covered and, specifically, how. It is also key to be aware of recommendations of the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best approach is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a common-sense reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Wear a face mask (more on face masks below in this list)
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Stay home when you are sick
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe
  • Face masks should be worn by everyone indoors at all times when others are present and by everyone outside at all times when social distancing is not possible. Simply put, this helps prevent the spread of COVID-19; masks protect yourself and others from this virus. The use of face masks has long been crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility). Masks are now crucial for everyone.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds – especially after using a bathroom, before eating and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
  • Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty

For information about handwashing, see CDC’s Handwashing website. If you have questions or concerns, as always, ask a doctor or health professional.

We also want to provide guidance to volunteers, vendors, visitors, and people who frequent the Sheriff’s Office. Our goal is to ensure the safety of our employees, the public, and detainees. Please read the following very carefully and follow the directions below as indicated.

Volunteers, vendors, visitors, and the public should contact their healthcare provider if they have:

  1. Returned from China, Iran, Italy, Japan, South Korea, or any country with a CDC Travel Alert Level 3 in the last 14 days or
  2. Live with someone or have had close contact with a person under investigation (PUI) or
  3. Had close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 illness and
  4. Refrain from visiting the Sheriff’s Office if they are determined to be at risk of exposure to the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

As more information has become available about COVID-19, the CDC has updated guidance for all travelers to self-isolate and limit activities for 14 days after travel from China, Iran, Italy, Japan, South Korea, or any country with a CDC Travel Alert Level 3 in the last 14 days. This includes people who do not have symptoms of illness.   

For additional up-to-date information, please visit:

CDC Novel Coronavirushttps://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html

CDC Travel Guidancehttps://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html

Illinois Department of Public Healthhttp://www.dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/diseases-and-conditions/diseases-a-z-list/coronavirus

Cook County Department of Public Healthhttps://www.cookcountypublichealth.org/communicable-diseases/novel-coronavirus/

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