COVID-19 testing

Wikipedia Commons

Illinois has devoted more than $230 million across every county in the state for COVID-19 contact tracing.

Wikipedia Commons

Randall Jeffay was one of the millions of Americans laid off due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He needed work, but he’s also at high-risk. 

“I’m 61 years old,” he said. “I’m actually a renal transplant recipient, so I have a suppressed immune system.” 

Going out in public or to an office was out of the question. But then he stumbled onto an article about Illinois community colleges offering courses to become a contact tracer from home.

NIU Athletics

College athletes are returning to campuses across the country.

Voluntary workouts are underway for football and basketball players at Northern Illinois University.  And the NCAA has approved plans to begin official preseason practices later this summer.

Contact tracing is kind of like being a COVID-19 detective. That’s what Kathy Cabai says. She’s a professor at College of DuPage and is coordinating its new online training program for the job.

Contact tracing involves calling people infected with COVID-19 to see who they’ve been in contact with to limit the spread of the virus. It also means reaching out to those who may have been exposed to people with COVID-19.

These are health care jobs and you work with public health departments. But Cabai says first and foremost they’re communication jobs.

University of Illinois College of Medicine Rockford

Coronavirus testing will continue at a drive-thru testing site in Rockford this morning, after the state health department and the Governor’s office intervened in a problem with receiving test results.

Winnebago County Board chairman Frank Haney asked for help from the state, saying 2,100 tests taken at the site at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford were “missing.” Haney said test results were not available after nearly two weeks when they should have taken only a few days. He announced Wednesday evening that testing would be suspended at that site.