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Cook County shutdown Friday: 16 health clinics, clerk’s office to close

Thursday, April 21, 2011
Chicago Sun-Times
by Lisa Donovan

Friday will mark the first of five so-called shutdown days this year in Cook County government, meaning the 16 county health clinics, along with the pharmacies and labs, will be closed for the day.

The exception will be the urgent care walk-in clinic at Fantus Health Center, 1901 W. Harrison, and Stroger, Oak Forest and Provident hospitals — and their Emergency Rooms — which will all remain open.

The county courts will also remain open Friday. But the clerk’s office will be closed, so residents who want a copy of their birth certificate, to apply for a marriage license or even pay their property taxes in person will have to wait until Monday.

Some 15,000 “non-essential personnel,” from Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle to janitorial staff, will be off without pay during the five shut-down days. Plus they’ll take another five furlough days scattered throughout the year.

The two weeks off without pay for most of the 24,000 county employees were approved by the county board in February as part of Preckwinkle’s $3.1 billion spending package that kept the county in the black.

The city of Chicago and the Chicago Park District have also used shut-down and furlough days to balance their budgets.

The remaining county four shutdown days this year are May 27, July 1, Sept. 2 and Nov. 25.

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