With the rise in cases, the Quad Cities Area Health Department said it was struggling to manage the volume of contact tracing calls.
ROCK ISLAND, Ill. – Responsibility for contact tracing in Illinois is shifting from local health departments to the Illinois Department of Public Health as counties struggle to keep up with rising COVID-19 cases .
Janet Hill, chief operating officer of the Rock Island County Health Department, said the department receives hundreds of calls a day regarding contact tracing. By transferring this responsibility to the state, Rock Island County will have more resources to focus on vaccinating the public as well as other non-COVID-19 related responsibilities.
If you test positive for COVID-19 at a state-run site, pharmacy, or doctor’s office, you will receive a text from the IDPH Emergency Center at 312-777-1999.
“The cases are so high that no health service would be able to adequately contact every positive case,” Hill said, “So this automated system will at least give people the information they need when they need it. need.”
After receiving a text, Hill said it was important to answer the questions being asked of you.
“They’ll ask you questions based on symptoms and just contact you,” Hill said.
Depending on your answers, you may receive a release letter from work or school. In some cases, this release letter is what is needed to be welcomed into the office or into class.
Illinois County Health Services will refer anyone seeking contact tracing information to IDPH. However, county departments will continue to contact the trace of certain homes, including those in nursing homes and schools.
“We’re going to continue to educate and answer questions if people call us. It’s just that we’ll hand over the bulk of contact tracing for COVID-19 to the state,” Hill said.
If you are taking a COVID-19 home test, you will not receive calls or texts from the Illinois Department of Health. Instead, it is your responsibility to notify close contacts and monitor for symptoms.
You can find information on contact tracing procedures from the Illinois Department of Public Health.
The Rock Island County Health Department will host a Pfizer Immunization Clinic for children ages 5-17, including boosters for those 12 and older who qualify, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. this Saturday, Jan. 15 .
All Pfizer appointments for children in the health department will also now be walk-in. No appointment is necessary.