CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — The Champaign Urbana Public Health District announced on Monday that, starting August 15, it will no longer reach out to people who test positive for COVID-19 and it will also suspend its contact tracing program.
But officials said this doesn’t mean people should let their guard down.
While COVID will continue to persist in our county, we are entering a period where state and federal mandates are being rescinded, funding is being reduced, and resources are being reallocated,” said CUPHD Administrator Julie Pryde. “This is not a reason to be complacent; rather, we believe that Champaign County residents have the knowledge and tools readily available to them to adopt effective precautions to prevent COVID-19 infections and to make timely care decisions if they have a positive COVID-19 test.”
Robert Davies, another CUPHD official, echoed that sentiment.
“We still want people to take precautions when community levels are high,” said CUPHD official Robert Davies. “The recommendation is that they wear a face mask indoors and public places to protect themselves and others.”
Several other changes are coming as a result of this announcement. Chief among them, the CUPHD will no longer be able to provide hotel rooms as alternative housing for COVID-positive individuals nor will they be able to provide food assistance to people who shelter in place.
Information about how to safely isolate oneself at home can be found on the CUPHD website and will be updated regularly while a list of available resources can be found on the City of Champaign’s website and University of Illinois School of Social Work’s C-U Community Resource Guide.
Antigen tests will continue to be available to long-term care facilities and other congregate living agencies to test symptomatic patients and residents.
The CUPHD will continue to monitor COVID trends and outbreaks and provide support to its public health partners. They reiterated that people should get vaccinated and boosted, as vaccines are the best tool to fight the pandemic.