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Southern 7 Health Dept. changing COVID-19 contact tracing process

Published: Jan. 10, 2022 at 2:23 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 10, 2022 at 6:38 PM CST
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SOUTHERN Ill. (KFVS) - A Heartland health department is changing how it tracks COVID-19 cases.

The Southern 7 Health Department said it’s moving contact tracing efforts to the new system put in place by the Illinois Department of Public Health.

That means officials at Southern 7 will no longer issue a daily report of new cases, and people who test positive for the virus will get a text message from the state health department.

At the end of December, IDPH informed all local health departments that the state was moving to centralize the COVID-19 contact tracing process.

They said this will free up overburdened local contact tracers to focus on the most critical cases of COVID-19 in their communities, including seniors, residents and staff of long-term care facilities, and local outbreaks of the virus.

According to IDPH, all other cases who choose to participate in the contact tracing process will be handled by its Surge Center. Those who choose to opt-out of contact tracing will receive instructions on how to self-notify their close contacts and how to follow quarantine of isolation guidelines.

According to the health department, the state and the CDC will continue to publish COVID-19 data online.

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