Cook County to mandate vaccinations for 2,000 county employees by October 15; mandate does not include elected offices


A healthcare worker fills a syringe with Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine at a community vaccination event in a predominately Latino neighborhood in Los Angeles, California, August 11, 2021. – All teachers in California will have to be vaccinated against Covid-19 or submit to weekly virus tests, Governor Gavin Newsom announced on August 11, as authorities grapple with exploding infection rates. The number of people testing positive for the disease has surged in recent weeks, with the highly infectious Delta variant blamed for the bulk of new cases. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP) (Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)

CHICAGO — Cook County employees will be mandated to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by October 15, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle announced Friday.

Employees in the officers under the jurisdiction of the County Board President and covered by the county employment plan will have until October 15 to comply with the policy or provide a verifiable medical or religious exemption.

Preckwinkle said she hopes Cook County’s separately elected offices will follow suit in mandating vaccinations.

Elected offices in Cook County include the State’s Attorney’s Office and the Sheriff’s Office

The mandate applies to over 2,000 county employees who work in health care, technology and highways as well as land and safety.

The mandate affects the following employees:

  • Bureau of Asset Management
  • Bureau of Economic Development
  • Bureau of Finance
  • Bureau of Human Resources
  • Bureau of Technology
  • Office of the Cook County Public Defender
  • Justice Advisory Council
  • Cook County Auditor
  • Cook County Boards and Commissions 
  • Department of Administrative Hearings

As well as the county’s Bureau of Administration, including:

  • Animal and Rabies Control
  • Environment and Sustainability
  • Emergency Management and Regional Security
  • Department of Transportation and Highways
  • Law Library
  • Medical Examiner’s Office
  • Printing and Graphic Services
  • Records Management
  • Fleet Management
  • Research, Operations and Innovation
  • Veterans Affairs

“Given the current state of the pandemic, Cook County will implement a mandatory employee vaccination policy to ensure that members of the public who interact with County employees and our facilities are safe when doing so, as well as to ensure the safety and well-being of employees while at work,” Preckwinkle said in the statement.

Cases have spread rapidly in the area and across the nation due to the highly contagious Delta variant.

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