Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart has not issued any new guidelines or safety measures as COVID-19 cases continue to spike in October. As cases among Cook County Department of CorrectionsOfficers are on the rise and another Officer passed away due to COVID-19 in recent weeks, the Sheriff refuses to enact stricter safety measures to protect his staff.
As cases in Chicago and Cook County spike and local officials tighten restrictions for businesses, the Sheriff continues to allow face-to-face visits at the jail, which expose Corrections Officers to unnecessary interactions with individuals who might have COVID-19.
“You have bars and restaurants enforcing stricter protocols than the Cook County Jail and that is outrageous. The jail was a super spreader in March and April, and we could see that happen again, all because of Sheriff Dart’s lack of concern and action. Five Corrections Officers have died from COVID-19. When will the Sheriff realize he needs to do more to protect Officers?” said Teamsters Local 700 Vice President Anthony McGee.
Teamsters Local 700 held a socially distanced memorial service on Wednesday, October 21 to honor the lives of all the Officers who have died in 2020. McGee said his heart goes out to the families and friends of the Officers, and he will continue to put pressure on the Sheriff to take COVID-19 seriously and protect Officers.
“It’s been a tough year. I grieve with our entire CCDOC family over our fallen Officers,” McGee said. “We are a family, and we stick up for each other, and that means calling out the Sheriff and demanding change.”