Cook County judges and court employees told to start returning to work in person

The Cook County chief judge has ordered all judges and court employees to return to work in person beginning next month.

The order by Judge Timothy Evans, signed last Friday, requires employees to be at their "regularly assigned workspace" for 70% of their pay period beginning May 14 — three days after the national health emergency declaration is set to end.

By June 4, no remote work will be permitted, according to the order. There are about 2,600 employees and 400 judges who will be affected by the order.

Masks will be optional in court facilities beginning May 1.


Evans said he has launched a committee to study the possibility of returning to part-time remote work at some point in the future.

Court operations were gradually moved online in the spring of 2020 as the pandemic hit. Court proceedings have been conducted by video conference and live-streamed on the court’s YouTube page.

Evans’ office has not announced any changes to the live-stream service.