Contact Tracing

Your COVID Questions Answered with Dr. Awardy



Contact tracing is a phone interview with someone who has recently tested positive for COVID-19 and their close contacts. It is critical to help slow transmission of COVID-19 in our communities.

The health department staff will not ask you for:

  • Money
  • Social Security number
  • Bank account information
  • Salary information
  • Credit card numbers

Discussions are strictly confidential.

  • Personal and medical information will be kept private
  • Your name will not be shared with those you came in contact with, even if they ask
  • Information will not be shared with any other agencies, like law enforcement or immigration


How Contact Tracing Works

Step 1: If you are diagnosed with COVID-19, the contact tracer will call you from 312.74.COVID (312.742.6843) to check on your health and ask where you have spent time and may have exposed others to COVID-19. You will be asked to stay at home and away from others.  

  • Information discussed will not be shared with any other agencies, such as law enforcement or immigration.
  • Your name will not be shared with those you came in contact with, even if they ask.

Step 2: The contact tracer will call the people you have been around to tell them they have been exposed to COVID-19 and will ask them to stay at home, away from others and self-quarantine. They will also help them get tested. They will NOT identify you. 

Step 3: If you or your close contacts need support or assistance, the contact tracer will connect you to support services through the Resource Coordination Hub and help you successfully isolate or self-quarantine to protect you, your family, and your community. 

Step 4: The contact tracer will regularly follow-up with you to check on your symptoms and provide additional assistance as needed.

Contact Tracing Fact Sheet (English/Spanish)

Chi Contact Tracing Corps

CDPH been doing contact tracing since early in the COVID outbreak, with focus on congregate settings. Since then, the City has developed a unified response – The Chi COVID Contact Tracing Corps (Corps) including community-based organizations, clinical partners and CDPH’s internal resources.

The Corps is a diverse and professionally trained public health workforce that reflects our City’s residents. The Corps is staffed by certified contact tracers, specially training in health data security and confidentiality. This innovative approach to contact tracing connects community members to address the current COVID-19 needs, but also and prepares individuals for future careers in healthcare. The Corp reflects the diversity of the City and will facilitate timely outreach to COVID-19 positive individuals and those whom they have been in close contact. 


Chi COVID Contact Tracing Corps

Taken together, this multi-pronged approach that includes healthcare partners such as hospitals and federally qualified health centers, CDPH, and community contact tracers aims to reach out to ALL COVID-19 cases and their contacts. 


You can verify the person calling you is a Corps contact tracer a few ways.

  • The phone call you received will come from 312-74-COVID (312-742-6843). You can also call back to this number to verify it is a Corps contact tracer.
  • Corps contact tracers will never ask for money, social security number, bank account information, salary information, or credit card numbers.
  • The Corps serves ALL positive cases and contacts in Chicago, regardless of where they live.
  • There is no fee for participating in contact tracing. Corps contact tracers will never ask for money, social security number, bank account information, salary information, or credit card numbers.
  • Participation in contact tracing is not required by law. However, your participation supports the health and well-being of your family, friends, and community.
  • The information you provide is only used for the public health departments contact tracing Information is not shared with other government agencies, law-enforcement, immigration authorities, or individuals you identify as close contacts.

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Resource Hub

In addition to contact tracing, the Corps connects individuals to the Resource Coordination Hub for support services such as testing, treatment, social services, housing, food assistance, and other resources The Resource Coordination Hub will improve the ability of individuals to quarantine and self-isolate to mitigate their spread and potential exposure to COVID-19.

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Community-Based Organizations

Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and CDPH awarded a $56 million grant to Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership, in collaboration with the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health, NORC at the University of Chicago, Malcolm X College – one of the City Colleges of Chicago – and Sinai Urban Health Institute, to carry out contact tracing services in Chicago, with efforts based out of communities most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

More information on community-based contact tracing can be found on the CDPH website.

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Clinical Partners

CDPH is proud to include many of Chicago’s prestigious healthcare organizations as clinic partners in the contact tracing unified response. These partners will effectively contribute by decreasing follow-up turnaround time with COVID-19 positive patients and their contacts. The full list of clinical partners can be found here.