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Chief Cook County Judge Tim Evans requiring employees to be vaccinated

Employees include court reporters, administrative staff and workers at the Juvenile Temporary Detention Center. Judges — elected officials — are exempt from Evans’ mandate.

Chief Judge Circuit Court of Cook County Tim Evans.
Chief Judge Circuit Court of Cook County Tim Evans.
Sun-Times file photo

Cook County Chief Judge Tim Evans is requiring all of his employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

If they haven’t already, employees must at least get their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine within the next three weeks, Evans said. There is no deadline for employees to receive their second dose, nor are employees required to get a booster shot if they’ve been vaccinated.

Last summer, 90% of the office’s 2,600 employees self-reported they had already received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, an Evans’ spokeswoman said Wednesday.

Evans’ employees include court reporters, administrative staff and workers at the Juvenile Temporary Detention Center.

Judges — elected officials — are not considered employees and therefore, are exempt from the vaccine mandate.

Employees will be able to request an exemption for religious and medical reasons and face potential firing if they do not comply.

Evans cited his vaccine mandate to the recent surge in coronavirus cases linked to the omicron variant.

“Public health experts have determined that unvaccinated individuals are more likely to contract and transmit the virus and to experience more serious symptoms of COVID-19 than those who are vaccinated,” Evans said in a statement. “This step is being taken to ensure the safest possible workplace for our employees, and to protect employees of our justice partners, court services patrons, residents of the Juvenile Temporary Detention Center, and the general public.”