Cook County Health Director Fired

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By WBBM Newsradio 780 AM & 105.9 FM

(WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- In the midst of dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, Cook County’s health director has been fired, and officials are not saying much about the circumstances. 

Dr. Terry Mason, who was once Chicago’s health commissioner, has been one of the faces of Cook County’s response to COVID-19. But he was terminated and replaced by a pair of his top medical officers.

County Board President Toni Preckwinkle on Friday wouldn’t say why, citing the privacy of personnel matters.

Preckwinkle said Mason will be replaced by Rachel Rubin and Kiran Joshi, both medical doctors. 

In other news, the county’s Provident Hospital will be shutting down its Emergency Room for about a month. Preckwinkle says it needs to be re-configured to allow for social distancing.

Cook County has two hospitals. Stroger is the flagship, but Provident Hospital serves the South Side.

Provident has already shut down its operating room and is closing it’s Intensive Care Unit. It will convert that ICU and add 50 additional beds to care for coronavirus patients, Preckwinkle said.