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Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19): Events, Locations & Precautions

illustration of the COVID-19 coronavirus from the CDC
Illustration from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC).

Last Updated: November 24, 2020, 10:30am

Prepare for your visit by reviewing information related to your destination or activity, along with our visitor precautions and guidelines.

We urge you to follow physical distancing guidelines and wear a mask when in the forest preserves. 

We are working with the Cook County Department of Public Health and the Cook County Department of Emergency Management and Regional Security to follow the latest COVID-19 related guidelines and best practices for prevention.

Sign up for Cook County COVID-19 text alerts. Text AlertCook to 888-777 on your mobile device to opt-in and receive the latest COVID-19 alerts and information from the new AlertCook Cook County public health and safety messaging service.

General questions about COVID-19 in Cook County? Call (708) 633-3319 or email ccdph.COVID19@cookcountyhhs.org. The hotline and email address are staffed between 9 am and 4 pm, Monday – Friday.


Location Closures

Before visiting, always check if a location is open on our web map or by visiting the location’s page on our website. Closure notices appear in both places.


Visitor Precautions & Guidelines

During the COVID-19 crisis, nearly all Forest Preserves sites remain open as a resource for fresh air, exercise and access to nature. Please follow these guidelines to ensure your visit to a preserve or time on the trail is as safe as possible.

  • Limit gatherings to 10 people or fewer.
  • Keep a minimum distance of six feet at all times from visitors who live outside of your household.
  • Wear a mask and follow CDC guidelines on proper use when physical distancing is not possible.
  • Warn others on the trail of your presence and step off the trail when necessary to maintain six feet of distance.
  • Bring your own food and water.
  • Use Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) guidelines on hygiene before, during and after your visit:
    • Do not visit the forest preserves if you are sick or experiencing symptoms, or if you have been in contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the last two weeks.
    • Wash your hands before and after visiting.
    • Carry and use hand sanitizer if you touch surfaces like handrails.
    • Cover your coughs and sneezes (preferably with a disposable tissue).
  • Help us by carrying any trash out with you, particularly used tissues, food wrappers, masks and gloves.

To learn more about stopping the spread of COVID-19, read the CDC’s prevention strategies.


Public Events

In-person events and programs sponsored by the Forest Preserves are cancelled or will be moved to a virtual format through at least December 16. Check our Events Page for more information specific events.


Permitted Events, Picnics & Room Rentals

Outdoor permitted events are cancelled starting November 16 through at least December 16.

Indoor room rentals are cancelled starting November 12 through at least December 16.

Forest Preserves staff will contact permit holders with the option for a full refund or an account credit to be used in 2020 or 2021. Late and change fees will not apply.

Learn more about booking 2021 event dates.


Camping

Camp Reinberg, Camp Sullivan, and Camp Bullfrog Lake are open from Wednesday evening to Sunday morning for tents and cabins, and every day for RVs. For more information and reservations, call 855-YES-CAMP (855-937-2267). Camp Dan Beard and Camp Shabbona Woods are closed.

Group campsites are closed and bunkhouses at Camp Sullivan are restricted to 25% capacity through at least December 16.


Chicago Botanic Garden & Brookfield Zoo


Resources

Sign up for Cook County COVID-19 text alerts. Text AlertCook to 888-777 on your mobile device to opt-in and receive the latest COVID-19 alerts and information from the new AlertCook Cook County public health and safety messaging service.

General questions about COVID-19 in Cook County? Call (708) 633-3319 or email ccdph.COVID19@cookcountyhhs.org. The hotline and email address are staffed between 9 am and 4 pm, Monday – Friday.


President Preckwinkle COVID-19 Executive Orders