Pritzker Announces the Illinois
Contact Tracing Collaborative: A Locally-Driven Approach to
Massively Scale Up Contact Tracing
Partners in Health Providing Playbook
After Implementing the “Massachusetts Model”
Send a link to a friend
[September 16, 2020]
Building on a robust, statewide effort to
ensure Illinois can safely reopen, Governor Pritzker announced the
Illinois Contact Tracing Collaborative, a locally-driven approach to
scale up contact tracing in Illinois.
“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,” said Governor JB
Pritzker. “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.
Additionally, IDPH sent assessments to the state’s 97 local health
departments with half already sending back their initial assessments
regarding their ability to expand and deploy their contact tracing
capabilities. Beginning today, IDPH will be sending out asks for
workplans and budgets from all of these departments – allowing
Illinois to incorporate their plans into the state’s overall plans
and bringing them online in the coming weeks.
In every region and across the state, the curriculum, software, and
technology will be IDPH-driven, and IDPH will support the funding
for new hires at local health departments where needed through
federal CARES money and Disaster Relief Act funding.
[to top of second column]
This will be a tech-based approach that will innovate
and scale up existing systems. Illinois will be implementing a
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. As one of the group’s earliest out-of-state
collaborations, Illinois has learned what worked, what didn’t, and
what challenges they continue to face as they design a
community-based program in Massachusetts. Partners in Health will
continue to advise IDPH on the state’s program design and how best
to tailor it to all of Illinois’ communities.
All hires will be made locally, not through IDPH, and salaries will
be determined by local health departments in accordance with salary
rates in the region. Those interested in becoming a contact tracer
can indicate their interest through IDPH, which will deliver names
and resumes to local health departments. That interest form can be
found on the IDPH website at dph.illinois.gov/COVID19.
[Office of the Governor JB Pritzker]