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Illinois changes its COVID-19 contact tracing procedures

Contact tracing
Contact tracing(MGN)
Published: May. 23, 2022 at 3:41 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (KWQC) -The Illinois Department of Public Health is shifting its COVID-19 contact tracing telephone calls to focus on a more strategic approach of automated case notifications.

Starting June 1, 2022, the department will no longer make individual case investigation calls to persons positive with COVID-19. Instead those individuals will receive an automated message. The new notification will be deployed via text message to all reported positive COVID-19 cases and a message will direct callers to resources through automated voice prompts in English, Polish, and Spanish. This new contact tracing process will not impact investigations of cases in congregate facilities.

The current contact tracing surge center, implemented in spring 2020, will cease operations on May 31.

Under the new system, positive COVID-19 cases reported in the Illinois National Electronic Disease Surveillance System (I-NEDSS) will receive an SMS message in English and Spanish which reads:

“IDPH has important info for you: Call 312-777-1999 or visit dph.illinois.gov/covidhelp?ch=sms Llame al 312-777-1999 o visite dph.illinois.gov/covidhelp?ch=sms”

The text message provides persons with positive COVID-19 cases the opportunity to call an automated information line or to click on the website link for additional guidance on isolation, close contact notification, and resource availability.

Contact tracing was originally meant to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Now, the change comes with wide availability of vaccines, at-home testing kits, and changes in isolation and quarantine guidance.

CDC contact tracing recommendations.

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