Pritzker introduces new contact tracing initiative

St. Clair County to be one of the program’s pilot sites

As of May 18, the Southern Region, which includes St. Clair County, is on target to enter phase three at the end of the month. Currently, all four regions are on target with their Restore Metrics. (Photo Courtesy Illinois Department of Public Health)

By Angela Simmons, Weekly Editor

Governor JB 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 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.

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

State Numbers

The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) today announced 2,294 new cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Illinois, including 59 additional deaths.Currently, IDPH is reporting a total of 96,485 cases, including 4,234 deaths, in 100 counties in Illinois. The age of cases ranges from younger than one to older than 100 years. Within the past 24 hours, laboratories have reported 21,297 specimens for a total of 603,241. The statewide 7-day rolling positivity rate, May 9-15, 2020 is 14 percent.

St. Clair County Numbers

There have been 4,903 residents tested, with 892 positive, which includes 17 new positives- both males and females from under 10 through their 90s. 3,991 tests have been negative tests and 20 test results are pending.

St. Clair County Health Department Emergency Coordinator Samantha Bierman said that she could not get into specifics, but that the child under ten was in fact an infant under one year old. Over the weekend, the health department also reported on a 16 month old child that had recently tested positive for the virus.

“This virus doesn’t only effect older adults like we originally thought, and we’re certainly seeing evidence of that locally,” said St. Clair County Emergency Management Agency Executive Director Herb Simmons.

In addition to the two most recent children, the county has reported other cases in children in their teens and children under the age of 10.

The county is reporting 69 Deaths with the most recent being a male in his 80s with unknown health conditions.

482 residents have completed the IDPH required 14 day quarantine.

St. Clair County Zip Code Totals

62201-13 / 62203-28 / 62204-34 / 62205-42 / 62206-78 / 62207-55 / 62208-49 / 62220-94 / 62221-77 / 62223-44 / 62226-110 / 62232-15 / 62239-11 / 62254-26 / 62257-8 / 62258-14 / 62269-61 / 62285 – 7

St Clair County Hospitalization Numbers

There are 52 COVID-19 related patients with 2 patients on ventilators in St. Clair County hospitals.

St. Clair County Congregate Living Facilities in Outbreak Status

BRIA of Belleville – 23 cases and 2 deaths / BRIA of Cahokia – 8 cases and 0 deaths / Caritas Family Solutions (Belleville) – 7 cases and 0 deaths / Colonnade – 3 cases and 0 deaths / Four Fountains – 105 cases and 17 deaths / Help at Home (O’Fallon) – 5 cases and 0 deaths / Knollwood Retirement Center (Caseyville) – 6 cases and 0 deaths / Lebanon Care Center – 51 cases and 9 deaths / Memorial Care Center – 43 cases and 5 deaths / St. Paul’s Home – 10 cases and 3 deaths / Swansea Rehab and Care Center – 4 cases and 0 deaths / TDL Incorporated (Belleville) – 4 cases and 0 deaths

Congregate setting cases account for just over 30 percent of the county’s total, and the deaths are 52 percent of the county’s total deaths.

COVID-19 Test sites in and around St. Clair County:

BJC Healthcare/Memorial Drive-Thru Test Site

4000 North Illinois Lane ~Swansea, IL 62226

(former location of Siteman Cancer Center)

Call before you present there (618) 607-1259

Open 12-8

Med Express (Collinsville site only)

515 Beltline Road

Collinsville, IL 62234

Call before you present there (618) 344-7882

Open 8-8

SIHF Testing COVID-19 Testing Sites

Call prior to going to these sites: 618-646-2596 for all locations: Monday – Friday, 8:30 am – 4:00 pm

SIHF East St. Louis Test Collection

100 North 8th Street (enter from 9th Street)

Testing hours: Monday – Friday, 12:00 – 4:00 pm

SIHF Belleville Test Collection

7210 West Main Street

Testing hours: Monday – Friday, 11:30 am – 3:30 pm

SIHF Granite City Test Collection

2166 Madison Avenue

Testing hours: Monday – Friday, 11:30 am – 3:30 pm

SIHF Wood River Test Collection

230 Old St. Louis Road (former emissions testing site)

Testing hours: Monday – Friday, 12:00 – 4:00 pm

SIHF Cahokia Test Collection

509 Camp Jackson Road (former Cahokia Fitness &

Sports Complex)

Testing hours: 12:00 pm – 3:30 pm

Walgreens Drive Thru Test Site

1201 Camp Jackson Road ~ Cahokia

Drive-in or Appointment

State of Illinois Community Based Test Site

Jackie Joyner-Kersee Community Center

Argonne Drive ~ East. St. Louis

Walk-in and or Drive thru

Red Bud Regional Hospital

325 Spring Street, Red Bud, IL 62278

Testing hours: Daily 7 am to 7 pm

Call before you present there (618)-282-5165

For more information on other state testing sites, visit our website: