In collaboration with the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH), NM launched a new contact tracing program in December. As infection rates remain high and hospital volumes increase, this partnership with the City of Chicago will provide a vital public health service by notifying individuals who have been exposed to COVID-19, and counseling them and their contacts to prevent further spread of the virus. The NM Contact Tracing Program also connects NM patients across diverse communities with access essential health services.
With medical guidance from Northwestern Memorial Hospital Infection Prevention Medical Director Maureen Bolon, MD, NM has established a team of contact tracers who will reach out to NM patients who are Chicago residents and have received a positive SARS-CoV-2 result, and will identify those who may have been exposed to the virus through the patient. The team is comprised of contact tracers, a dedicated social worker and a data coordinator.
If exposed individuals would like to see an NM physician, a referral will be provided through the standard NM process. Contact tracing staff will be able to access a variety of resources for patients and their contacts to help them navigate health care and other social needs.
What physicians need to know If you have a patient who is a Chicago resident and tests positive for SARS-CoV-2, the patient will likely be contacted by an NM contact tracer on behalf of the City of Chicago. This is part of a normal public health response to a pandemic. When you discuss positive test results with your patients, please make them aware of this process so they answer their phones for this important call.