By CBS 2 Chicago Staff

CHICAGO (CBS)– Nurses across Cook County went on strike Thursday.

The nurses took to the picket lines after recent contract talks broke down. They said too many hospitals are running on reduced staff, and it’s negatively impacting patient care.

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Nurses were outside both Stroger and Provident hospitals Thursday as well as Cermak Health.

In response, Cook County Health brought in temp nurses for the day in “priority areas.”

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Cook County Health said late Thursday afternoon that it expects the nursing strike to end at 6:59 a.m. Friday. Cook County Health has appropriate staff to meet the essential care needs of patients, but Stroger Hospital of Cook County remains on bypass for emergency and advance life support cases. Trauma cases are still being taken in.

Meanwhile, Cook County Health is also prepared for a strike on Friday by SEIU Local 73, which handles housekeeping, foodservice, medical technologists, ward clerks, mental health workers, physician assistants, medical assistants, and care coordination staff in the Cook County Health system. The Illinois Labor Relations Board reports there are about 3,700 SEIU positions in which employees are not allowed to go on strike, Cook County Health said, adding that it is seeking a court injunction to ensure that.

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Similar to Thursday, Cook County Health will reschedule some non-urgent appointments and procedures Friday in anticipation of the SEIU strike. Those with specific questions about an appointment Friday should call (312) 864-0200, while anyone experiencing a medical emergency should call 911.

CBS 2 Chicago Staff