Cook County Launches “AlertCook” Text System To Provide COVID-19 Updates

WBBM Newsradio Staff
March 19, 2020 - 12:25 pm

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, along with the Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH) and the Cook County Department of Emergency Management and Regional Security (EMRS), announced Thursday the launch of a new emergency text alert system, hotline number and email address to keep the public informed with accurate information regarding COVID-19.

“AlertCook,” the new Cook County public health and safety messaging service, offers subscribers a direct line of communication to receive updates from Cook County Government related to public health alerts and emergency management.

"In an effort to foster communication in this rapidly evolving environment, we are announcing the activation of a new emergency text alert system," Preckwinkle said. “We want to ensure Cook County can quickly communicate with the residents we serve with accurate and timely information.”

Simply text ‘AlertCook’ to 888-777 to opt-in and receive the latest COVID-19 alerts and information. Normal texting rates apply.

“Our goal as the County’s emergency management agency is to ensure everyone has the information and assets they need to accomplish their role in disaster response,” said William Barnes, executive director of EMRS, in a statement. “AlertCook immediately helps in achieving that goal.”

CCDPH also announced the activation of its COVID-19 hotline and email address for the general public to receive answers to frequently asked questions. The hotline number: (708) 633-3319 and email address: will be staffed between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday - Friday.

“This truly has been a rapidly evolving situation and people are understandably looking for the latest accurate information and guidance,” said CCDPH Chief Operating Officer Dr. Terry Mason, in a statement. “We have seen a spike in calls that necessitated mobilizing a team to respond to the increasing demand.”

For the latest COVID-19 updates all Cook County residents can text “AlertCook” to 888-777. Suburban Cook County residents can call the CCDPH COVID-19 Hotline at 708-633-3319 or email