Whiteside County updates contact tracing changes

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Coronavirus delta variant. (File/Getty)

The Whiteside County Health Department has updated changes to contact tracing.

Please see the information below discussing Changes to Contact Tracing beginning 1/13/22. Note: This change is particularly important for individuals who require letters to return to work. As a reminder, the guidance included below is for the general public, specific guidance (ie: for schools, healthcare workers, Long Term Care etc.) supersedes general guidance. Please review agency/ location specific guidance on IDPH’s website.

Additional information on Isolation and Quarantine may be found here.

Additional information on being “Up to Date” on COVID-19 Vaccines can be found here.

Tracing Changes – Know What to Expect

Currently, the number of COVID-19 cases and contacts are beyond our capability to address in a timely manner. Illinois will be centralizing Contact Tracing beginning Thursday, January 13th.

The IDPH Surge Center will be managing most cases and prioritizing case investigation for individuals who are 65 years of age and at high risk of developing severe illness. The Surge Center will reach out to his group. If you are NOT in this group, you will receive a text message that there is important information for you with a link to your instructions.  This link will provide information on how long to quarantine or isolate and link to resource assistance if needed, etc. You will also be instructed to call 312-777-1999. Individuals who call this number will be considered as “opting in” for an interview and symptom monitoring. For individuals who require a return to work letter, it is imperative that you opt in. This is the ONLY way for you to receive a return to work letter. Please do not call the health department for a letter if you did not opt in as we will not be able to provide a letter.

At home tests – These tests are useful for helping you understand infection within your household and can be useful on day 5 after an exposure, however the health department cannot intervene regarding an at home test result. If you test positive on an at home test, we strongly encourage you to confirm your results through a testing provider who reports results directly to IDPH. We are unable to provide release letters for at home tests. If you need a letter, you must follow that test with a provider who reports results. If you test positive, please follow current Isolation and Quarantine Guidelines.

Local Health Departments will continue to respond to cases in high-risk settings, including congregate facilities, schools, daycares, and long term care facilities. Local health departments will also be able to see details about cases to help identify potential outbreaks and clusters.

Isolation and Quarantine Guidelines to Follow

If you test Positive 

  • Isolate for 5 days (Day 0 = Date of symptom onset or test date if you do not have symptoms)
  • If after 5 days, you have been fever-free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medications and your symptoms have resolved, you may end isolation on Day 6. Continue to wear a mask around others through Day 10.
  • If you still have a fever on day 5 or symptoms have not resolved, continue isolating until you meet the above criteria.
  • Please inform anyone you had close contact with up to 2 days before developing symptoms or testing positive until you began isolating so they can quarantine.

If you have been a Close Contact (Day 0 = Last Date of Close Contact)

  • If you are a close contact and are up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines (received all recommended boosters and doses, OR completed the primary series of Moderna or Pfizer within the past 5 months OR received a dose of J&J in the last 2 months) You do not need to quarantine. Wear a well-fitting mask around others (even in your home) for 10 days.
  • If you are NOT up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines (completed your primary Pfizer or Moderna vaccine more than 5 months ago, received J&J more than 2 months ago, and have not yet received your booster dose if eligible OR have not finished the primary series of Moderna or Pfizer OR are unvaccinated)  stay home through Day 5 and continue to wear a mask around others (even in your home) for an additional 5 days (Through Day 10)
  • If you develop symptoms, immediately isolate and get tested.

The revised guidelines are for the general public. Specific Guidance (ie: for schools, healthcare workers, Long Term Care etc.) supersedes general guidance. Please review updated guidance on IDPH’s website.

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