Chicago, May 10, 2023- With the state and federal COVID-19 public health emergencies (PHEs) expiring on May 11, Cook County Health is prepared to support its patients, communities, and staff during the transition, which will bring several changes to health-related policies and services.

“I want to thank all the first responders and health care workers who went above and beyond during the pandemic to provide essential, and high-quality health care to our most vulnerable communities,” Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said. “As we adapt to this post-pandemic era, we remain committed to ensuring access to equitable and compassionate care for residents across the County.”

The PHEs allowed Medicaid members to maintain their health coverage through the pandemic. Now, after three years of continuous coverage, members will need to renew their coverage with the State of Illinois through a process called redetermination. Redetermination resumes this month on a rolling basis and will last through April 2024. Medicaid members will have to complete and return their redetermination paperwork by their individual due date. Members can log-in to manage their benefits at

To support individuals in this process, Cook County Health has created resources for Medicaid members, health care providers, and community-based organizations in seven languages, available at Those with questions can also call Cook County Health’s Financial Assistance line at 312-864-8200 to speak to a financial counselor.

“If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is that an individual’s health, and the health of our family, friends, and neighbors, are integral to a thriving and productive society,” said Cook County Health CEO Israel Rocha. “We are doing all we can to ensure that people have access to the health care they need, and that they can retain the health benefits for which they are eligible.”

With the end of the PHEs, the cost of COVID-19 vaccinations and tests may no longer be fully covered. Cook County Health has administered more than 1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine and 440,000 COVID-19 tests and the health system is dedicated to providing vaccinations and tests to all without barriers.

John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County will continue to offer community COVID-19 vaccinations and tests. Patients can also continue to receive tests and vaccinations at Cook County Health community health centers. For patients with insurance, vaccinations and tests will be processed through their health plan. For uninsured patients, Cook County Health will continue to provide vaccinations and tests at no cost.

“It is important to note that while the public health emergencies are expiring, COVID is still very much with us,” said Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck, Chief Operating Officer of the Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH).  “Hospitalizations and deaths are decreasing, but we must continue our commonsense measures to protect our health and the health of those around us. This includes masking when appropriate, avoiding interactions with individuals who are sick, practicing good hand hygiene, and staying up-to-date on your vaccinations.”

Cook County Health will host The End of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, a Facebook Live event at 11 a.m., Thursday, May 11, where panelists will discuss upcoming changes about the end of the PHEs, and viewers can submit questions.  The panel discussion will feature Israel Rocha; Dr. Rachel Rubin, Senior Medical Officer at Cook County Department of Public Health; Dr. Claudia Fegan, Chief Medical Officer at Cook County Health; Aaron Galeener, Chief Administrative Officer, Health Plan Services, CountyCare and moderator Ratna Kanumury, Associate Chief Strategy Officer at Cook County Health.  CCDPH has made additional information about the end of the PHEs available at

Cook County Health is also preparing to update its masking and visitor policies with the end of the PHEs. Effective May 15, masking will be optional for many patients, staff, and visitors. Staff will continue to wear masks when providing direct patient care or when in an occupied patient room. Masks remain required for anyone with flu-like symptoms, visitors in patient rooms, and in high-risk areas in Stroger and Provident Hospitals (e.g. cancer clinic, NICU). Patients may also request that a staff member wear a mask while assisting them.

Masking continues to be strongly recommended for all individuals in Cook County Health facilities. Even though COVID-19 is now endemic across the globe, wearing a mask can significantly reduce transmission of the virus and help protect yourself and others.