Gov. Pritzker Seeks To Expand Contact Tracing As Virus Toll Increases

Courtesy of U.S. Department of StateContact tracing is a vital tool to fight COVID-19 and Gov. Pritzker said he’s working to expand it as more than 2,000 new cases of the virus are announced Monday.

Amid the growing pandemic, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said he’s working to expand the role of contact tracing as a way to fight COVID-19.

Contact tracing is a process where once people test positive for the virus, people who were in contact with the person are also tested and isolated to stop further spread.

Pritzker said this is the most “sustainable” tool for fighting the virus and is an effective weapon against it. 

As of May 18, only 29 percent of known cases involved contact tracing, according to Pritzker. He said he hopes to bring that number up to 60 percent by improving the infrastructure of contact tracing with new software and technology. 

Public health officials reported 2,294 new cases of COVID-19 and 59 additional deaths, pushing the state’s total to 96,485 confirmed cases and 4,234 deaths. May 16 and 17 saw a combined increase of 3,822 confirmed cases of the virus and 125 deaths. 

Cases of the virus are reported in 100 of Illinois’ 102 counties, with Chicago and Cook County bearing the brunt of the cases, almost 64,000 cases combined. 

Despite the process of reopening, restaurants must follow the directives of the IDPH or risk receiving a citation from local law enforcement, Pritzker also said. Restaurants also run the risk of having their licenses revoked or impose a closure order. 

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