The Chicago area is expected to be impacted by several days of extreme weather, with an anticipated snowstorm taking place Friday into Saturday, followed by extreme cold.

In response, Cook County Health is taking the following measures:

  • Outpatient primary care visits will be transitioned to telehealth. Staff will be contacting patients if their appointment is impacted. Patients with questions can call 312-864-0200.
  • COVID-19 testing sites will be closed on Friday, January 12 and Saturday, January 13.
  • Free valet parking will be made available to patients at the Stroger Hospital entrance on Friday, January 12.

Cook County Health offers the following tips to keep residents safe during this weather system:

  • Wear multiple layers including a hat and gloves or mittens. Layers are the best way to keep your body warm because the air in between the layers acts as extra insulation.
  • Continued cold exposure can lead to frostnip or frostbite. Carefully rewarm exposed areas with a warm, wet wash cloth. See a doctor if cold, hard, blotchy skin appears or if the area becomes painful, swollen or a fever occurs.
    • Frostnip is a mild form of frostbite and may feel like tingling or pain as the skin warms.
    • Frostbite can set in within 30 minutes. Symptoms can start as a pins and needles or a tingly feeling. The skin may also become a different color including red, white, blue, purple or grayish depending on the severity.
  • Older individuals or those who are relatively inactive should take caution while shoveling snow. Sudden exertion combined with cold weather can increase the heart rate and blood pressure, resulting in a deadly combination. If you are active and healthy, help your neighbors clear snow.
  • Know the signs of hypothermia. Seek emergency help if someone is experiencing intense shivering, slurred speech and drowsiness as well as loss of coordination. Hypothermia is when the body loses heat faster than it can be produced.
  • Seek medical care when you need it. Don’t put your life at risk by not getting the care you need. This can be a deadly decision.

The Cook County Department of Emergency Management and Regional Security (EMRS) has some additional advice about being prepared for severe winter weather. Click here for additional tips.

Municipalities and townships across Cook County operate warming centers for residents. Residents who do not have adequate heating in their homes are encouraged to visit a warming center to ensure they remain safe.

Click the links to view the complete list of warming centers throughout Cook County and Chicago.