Pritzker: Illinois to approach ‘state-of-the-art’ contact tracing of COVID-19 patients

Chicago News USA

CHICAGO, Ill. (WIFR) – At his daily briefing on Monday, Gov. J.B. Pritzker explained the state’s approach to “contact tracing” those who have had exposure to someone diagnosed with COVID-19, to slow the spread of the disease.

“With Illinois’ daily availability of testing among the best in the nation, we want to grow our voluntary contact tracing so we can further control and reduce the rate of spread of COVID-19 and stop outbreaks in their tracks,” Pritzker said. “Knowing if you’ve been exposed to someone with COVID-19 gives everyday Illinoisans the ability to keep their families and co-workers and friends safe by helping them seek testing or self-isolate, and it helps us build a public health system that truly supports them if their exposure leads to actual infection.”

The state is immediately engaging two local health departments to pilot this initiative: St. Clair County in the Metro East region and Lake County in the Northeast region. These local health departments were chosen for having significant needs in terms of case numbers in vulnerable populations, a robust capacity for tracing, and great existing collaborations of public health personnel, medical students and volunteers already on the ground.

The Governor said he wants to increase voluntary contact tracing through a technology-based approach.

Illinois will be implementing state-of-the-art project management and comprehension tool, to collect and hold all raw information relating to contact tracing for COVID-19 and providing forward-facing relationship management software for deployment throughout the state.

This personal contact management software will allow all local health departments to work on one platform, and allow IDPH to operate with an aggregated, real-time sense of where COVID-19 is in Illinois.

IDPH has also brought on Partners in Health –a world-renowned organization for building strong community-based health systems.

Partners in Health is behind what has become known as the “
Massachusetts model
” for what scaling up a contact tracing operation looks like.

Those interested in becoming a contact tracer can sign up by clicking here.

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