The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has publicly released contact tracing data from all local health departments, including the Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH).
Currently, CCDPH's contract tracing initiative is staffed at about 20% of the initial hiring target, with two full contract tracing teams hired out of the ten initially planned. To round out the rest of the contract teams CCDPH is in the process of conducting roughly 500 interviews for additional contact tracers, will be working with Hektoen Institute to complete additional hiring, and has leveraged the emergency hiring process provided for in the employment plan. Executing these three plans in tandem will increase CCDPH's tracing capacity over the next few months.
Contact tracing remains most effective when used in combination with other mitigation strategies. In addition to contact tracing, CCDPH also:
Responded to or observed over 300 violations related to masking, physical distancing, and sanitation in food establishments;
Continues to work over 175 school-related cases that began this fall;
Provides guidance and support to 200 long-term care facilities on an ongoing basis;
Issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for community-based organizations to assist the tracing teams with education and awareness support; and
Enlisted the help of worker centers to assist with educating employees and employers throughout suburban Cook County on best practices in the workplace to prevent outbreaks.