Cook County courthouses will be closed Wednesday and Thursday ahead of what is expected to be a near-record cold snap.
Chief Judge Timothy Evans announced Tuesday morning all Cook County courthouses will be shut down until Friday “to ensure that nobody is placed in danger while traveling to and from court.”
“Jurors who are currently assigned to a trial do not need to come to court on Wednesday and Thursday, but they must return to court on the next date scheduled by the trial judge,” Evans’ office said in a statement. “Those who were called for jury duty on Wednesday or Thursday do not have to come to court on Wednesday or Thursday, and they will receive a new summons for duty on a future date.”
While the buildings themselves will be closed, there will still be some court business scheduled to continue this week. Bail and some pretrial hearings for in-custody defendants in the Leighton Criminal Court Building at 26th Street and California Avenue will still be held, as will juvenile detention hearings in the Juvenile Center.
The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois has already announced it will be closed Wednesday. Several local universities and Chicago Public Schools have also opted to shut down Wednesday.
At O’Hare International Airport, the high temperature Wednesday is expected to be negative, which would break a record set on Jan. 18, 1994. Wind chills that day are expected to drop to between negative 40 and negative 55 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.
“If there’s a day where one needs to demonstrate cold weather safety to the max, it is Wednesday,” the NWS Chicago branch tweeted Tuesday.
If there’s a day where one needs to demonstrate cold weather safety to the max, it is Wednesday. The Arctic air will be fully entrenched. Temperatures remain in negative double digits for most areas the entire day. Wind chills -40° to -55°. #ILwx #INwxhttps://t.co/d9uKYzeUsQ pic.twitter.com/LVAWtRidxX
— NWS Chicago (@NWSChicago) January 29, 2019