IDPH ending individual COVID-19 case calls

(Source: Storyblocks)

(KBSI) – The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is shifting its COVID-19 contact tracing efforts and individual case investigation telephone calls to focus on a more strategic approach of automated case notifications.

Starting June 1, IDPH will no longer make individual case investigation calls to individuals positive with COVID-19. Instead, those individuals will receive an automated message. IDPH notifications to COVID-19 cases had previously included a call back option from contact tracers and individual case investigations of people 65 years of age and older.

The new notification will be deployed via short message service (SMS) to all reported positive COVID-19 cases and a message will direct callers to resources through automated voice prompts in English, Polish, and Spanish. The new contact tracing process will not impact investigations of cases in congregate facilities, which remain a top priority for local health departments and IDPH, according to the IDPH

The current contact tracing surge center – a contracted pool of virtual contact tracers 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 Llame al 312-777-1999 o visite”

The text message provides those 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.

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