Cook County logo. WTIP file photo
WTIP file photo

Public health supervisor talks tourist contact tracing, reopening of local schools

WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs spoke with Cook County Public Health Supervisor Grace Grinager this week to find out if there is a way the public can obtain more information about contact tracing for tourists who travel to the North Shore and test positive when they return home. The audio to their conversation is below.

In a follow up statement sent to WTIP August 5, Grinager said: “If a person tested for COVID-19 locally, our local lab would get that result and it would appear on our hub site. Our contact tracing workflow would then mean a public health staff would reach out to any people that were considered ‘high risk’ contacts of that individual (within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more) and would instruct them to quarantine.

If an individual tested in their home community, they would receive results from their local medical facility and would be contacted through the contact tracing staff in that county (or, in some cases MDH). The process would be the same (though it comes through another county’s public health department), and anyone they might have been in ‘high risk’ contact during the time that they were infectious would be notified through contact tracing. This process goes across geographic boundaries, so if a tourist from another county had high-risk contact with someone here in Cook County, the person who was a ‘high-risk contact’ would be called by that other county’s public health representative and instructed to quarantine.

In the August 3 interview on WTIP, Grinager also talks about working with the local school district as they prepare for the upcoming school year amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The audio to their conversation is below.