A Letter from the President | May 16, 2020

Since the beginning of the pandemic, international health experts have recommended we, as global citizens, should to the best of our ability practice “social” or “physical” distancing. This remains one of the critical actions we can collectively take to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and help “flatten the curve.”

Here at Cook County, we prefer the term physical distancing. Use of the term “physical” better represents what we actually are called upon to do. We want residents to remain socially connected even as we must continue to stay physically apart. The World Health Organization agrees, and recently adopted this terminology. In the days and weeks ahead, you’ll begin to hear and see us intentionally use the term “physical distancing,” and we encourage you do the same.

Physical distancing simply means keeping space between yourself and others to avoid being exposed to and spreading the coronavirus. Remember, those without symptoms can still spread the virus. 

Let me be clear, staying home to save lives remains one of the most critical actions we can take right now, but on those rare occasions when we must step outside, or in cases where we are near others from outside our household, especially as the weather warms, it’s vital that physical distancing is practiced at all times.

The Centers for Disease Control defines physical distancing as staying at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people, not gathering in groups, staying out of crowded places and avoiding mass gatherings.

Later today we will share with you the first in a series of physical distancing photos to illustrate and promote the need to come together while we stay 6 feet apart. We will release one photo each day this week to remind our communities of the importance of physical distancing, while also having some fun -- and maybe even bringing out a smile or two in the process. I hope that you enjoy the series as we all look forward to better days ahead.

If you’re still up, be sure go to our Facebook and Twitter accounts to reveal our first image – tonight at 23:45.

We are in this together, even when we’re physically apart – as one Cook County.


Toni Preckwinkle
President, Cook County Board of Commissioners


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