Starting June 1, people who test positive for COVID-19 will receive an automated text message from the Illinois Department of Public Health directing individuals to resources.
State Contact Tracing Surge Center Handling Bulk of Cases
In the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, city and county officials hired hundreds of contact tracers to help stop the spread of the coronavirus as the sheer number of cases overwhelmed local health departments. But as the coronavirus pandemic enters an endemic phase, contact tracing will become more targeted, according to officials.
Earlier in the pandemic, the program began by focusing on contact tracing. But it has since expanded to meet other needs – like scheduling vaccine appointments and working the city’s COVID-19 hotline.
More than 1.5 million COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in suburban Cook County. While the pace of vaccinations is ramping up, infections are rising, keeping contact tracers busy doing vital work to stop the spread of the virus, officials say.
A push to build a first-of-its-kind workforce to conduct community-level contact tracing is months behind schedule, even as health officials brace for a surge in infections at the start of the traditional flu season.
The governor has talked about three T’s when it comes to stopping the spread of the coronavirus: testing, treatment and tracing. Has Illinois made progress on its contact tracing goals?
Using state and federal funds, the local nonprofit will hire 600 people to conduct community-level contact tracing efforts to stamp out the coronavirus.
The Cook County Department of Public Health will scale up its COVID-19 contact tracing program within the next six months, thanks to a $41 million grant from the Illinois Department of Public Health.
Contact tracing is “one of the most important weapons that we have in this fight” against the coronavirus, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Tuesday.
New statewide totals: 96,485 cases, 4,234 deaths
As part of Illinois’ push to create an “army” of contact tracers to identify people at risk of developing COVID-19, the state is launching pilot programs in two counties that have seen a combined 7,430 cases of the virus.
Illinois is seeking to create an “army” of contact tracers, Gov. J.B. Pritzker said earlier this month. A suburban college is hoping to meet that demand.
New statewide totals: 56,055 cases, 2,457 deaths
The operation will begin with a slow rollout, but Gov. J.B. Pritzker said that at its peak, there could be about 30 workers per 100,000 Illinois residents – a total of more than 3,800. The governor estimated the cost could reach $80 million.
The nation’s top infectious disease expert said Thursday that new cases of the coronavirus are a certainty as states begin to roll back restrictions.
As governors grapple with the question of when to reopen their states, the need for a wide-scale contact tracing effort is at the top of many experts’ lists. Help may be on the way, but it’s getting a lot of scrutiny.
As federal officials weigh how and when to reopen the country, experts worry that the United States does not have enough public health workers to suppress another outbreak, especially those qualified to do contact tracing.
Apple and Google launched a major joint effort to leverage smartphone technology to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.