State Announces COVID-19 Tracing Funding Opportunity

July 23, 2020

The Illinois Dept. of Public Health (IDPH) yesterday announced a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for public health organizations – outside Chicago and Cook County – to assist with contact tracing efforts. IDPH will award a grant to one organization in each of the nine regions outlined in Governor Pritzker’s COVID-19 resurgence mitigation plan, with Cook County and Chicago standing up their own contact tracing programs with community organizations. Each of these nine organizations will serve as coordinators in their region, awarding sub-grants to community-based organizations in their region who can most effectively conduct tracing, education and outreach in their communities. The NOFO will be available on the IDPH website this Friday.

“I'm proud to announce that applications for community-based organizations to obtain funding through IDPH to collaborate with local health departments will open on Friday. This opportunity – called the COVID-19 Pandemic Health Navigator Program – is geared toward organizations able to serve as coordinators for their region, sub-awarding to other agencies, across three main areas of work: education and outreach, contact tracing, and resource coordination for those who need to isolate,” said Governor J.B. Pritzker. “Because Chicago and its immediate suburbs are running their own community programs, these partnerships will be with regional leaders outside of Cook County. Most important to our ability to minimize outbreaks is the efforts of everyday people to do their part: if one of our statewide force of 1,600 contact tracers calls you, please answer.”

IDPH has executed grant agreements with 57 local health departments across the state, about 60% of all local health departments, to enhance contact tracing efforts. These local health departments will receive $50 million in contact tracing funding over the next two weeks. IDPH is also finalizing  
agreements with the remaining 40 local health departments. In total, grants to local health departments for contact tracing amount to more than $215 million.