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Answer the Call

Contact tracing is a long-established, proven health practice that health departments routinely use to investigate disease outbreaks. The COVID-19 pandemic has made people aware of contact tracing. It is a critically important tool in the fight against COVID-19, and most effective when used in combination with other mitigation strategies like masking, physical distancing and hand-washing.

If you tested positive for COVID-19 or were in close contact with someone who tested positive, one of our public health workers may reach out to you from IL COVID HELP or 312-777-1999 to offer guidance and support and answer any questions you may have. Please answer the call to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

You could be protecting yourself, your close contacts, and others, who may be at increased risk of serious illness or even death.

How does contact tracing work?

We all need to work together to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Contact tracing slows the spread of COVID-19 by:

  1. Reaching out to people with COVID-19 to identify everyone they had close contact with during the time they may have been infectious.
  2. Letting people know they may have been exposed to COVID-19 and should monitor their health for signs and symptoms of COVID-19.
  3. Helping people who may have been exposed to COVID-19 get tested.
  4. Monitoring contacts for signs and symptoms of COVID-19.
  5. Connecting contacts with services they might need so they can self-isolate if they have COVID-19 or self-quarantine if they are a close contact of someone who has COVID-19

About the Initiative

Learn more about the Cook County Department of Public Health Contact Tracing Initiative in suburban Cook County funded by the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Meet Rocio

Rocio Arellano started working as a bilingual case investigator in August 2020. She shares her experience while supervising a team of 6 contact tracers in suburban Cook County.

What to do if you’ve been exposed to
a confirmed COVID-19 case


Getting tested is one of the most important steps you can take to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Combined with contact tracing and proper isolation, it protects you and those closest to you. Visit our testing page for information about testing for COVID-19 in suburban Cook County.


Write down your travels and close contacts prior to finding out you were exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19. Notify your close contacts right away so they can take precautions to get tested, stay home and monitor for symptoms if you test positive.


Quarantine keeps someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others. Quarantine helps prevent spread of disease that can occur before a person knows they are sick. To prevent spreading the virus, stay home, away from others and monitor your symptoms.


Isolation separates people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick. Isolation reduces the spread of contagious disease.



Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick.

Rest Assured

Your private health information is secured and always kept completely confidential. We will not ask for your social security number. We will not share your name with anyone, including your close contacts, law enforcement, debt collection agencies or immigration.

Explore Our Media Gallery

The “Answer the Call” campaign consists of English and Spanish ads on social media, radio and billboards. This campaign is intended to raise awareness about contact tracing and its importance.

High-resolution design files are available for download and use by partners interested in branding as their own with a source credit to CCDPH. Please email CCDPH Communications for details.


Download this 11X17 poster for your workplace, business, college or university, apartment building, condo or home.


Look for the “Answer The Call” digital billboards in prominent and high-traffic locations on major roadways such as I-55, I-94 and I-294.

Social Media Ads

Look for the “Answer the Call” social media ads (static and video) on Snapchat, Instagram, Google Ads and YouTube in English and Spanish.


Look for the “Answer The Call” videos on Snapchat in English and Spanish.


Look for the “Slow the Spread. Answer the Call” videos on YouTube in English and Spanish.

Radio Spot

Listen for the “Answer the Call” :30 commercials on V103FM.

Updated January 20, 2022, 11:02 PM