President Preckwinkle Announces Executive Order Removing Obstacles to Donating, Distributing COVID-19 Supplies

Cutting red tape to get vital resources to communities being impacted by COVID-19, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle today issued an executive order accelerating the County’s ability to accept supplies, equipment and other donations from private partners, corporations and individuals.


The move by President Preckwinkle aims to get critical materials to vulnerable communities in need of emergency assistance by allowing the Department of Emergency Management and Regional Security (EMRS) to more rapidly accept and distribute donations.


“Time is of the essence when responding to a crisis which is why cutting red tape to acquire and distribute supplies is so important,” President Preckwinkle said. “By fast-tracking the process, we will be able to get resources to our communities where they are needed, when they are needed.”


“The Cook County Department of Emergency Management and Regional Security is dedicated to quickly and carefully protecting our residents,” said William Barnes, executive director of EMRS. “Every minute counts as we work to protect the region and this measure will be another helpful tool to combat the coronavirus.” 


Executive Order 2020-6 allows EMRS to accept supplies, equipment, goods and other donations from private partners, corporations and individuals, and distribute those donations to Cook County agencies, first responders, municipal partners or not-for-profit organizations assisting with the COVID-19 crisis without the need for often burdensome memorandums of understanding (MOU). These memorandums of understanding will still be accepted but will no longer be required.


EMRS will catalog donations and assign them to first responders, municipal partners, County agencies or nonprofit organizations to maximize the impact on public health and safety, with priority given to unfulfilled resource requests. A monthly report of these activities will also be provided to the Cook County Board of Commissioners.


Recently, as area first responders experience a shortage of potentially life-saving coronavirus supplies, EMRS distributed more than 33,600 N95 masks and an additional 38,800 gloves and gowns for the use of regional first responders immediately.


For all updates on Cook County’s response to COVID-19, visit