Chicago Public Schools will continue to “strongly recommend,” not require, masks for the upcoming school year, CEO Pedro Martinez said Wednesday.
Martinez said there will not be a lot of changes to the district’s COVID-19 protocols from the end of the last school year. CPS ditched its mask requirement in March amid a decrease in cases and legal pressure to end COVID-19 mitigations. Martinez said the district’s weekly, in-school testing program will continue, and take-home tests will be available to students as well.
The news from the monthly Chicago Board of Education meeting comes as Chicago’s risk level for COVID-19 is high. The Chicago Department of Public Health recommends people stay up to date with vaccines, wear a face mask in indoor public settings where vaccine status is not known and get tested if symptoms surface.
Martinez said the district will follow science in crafting protocols. The board is set to consider an $85 million contract to Fisher Scientific for the company to continue to provide COVID-19 testing supplies and services.
School is set to start Aug. 22, a week earlier than last year and two weeks before the traditional day-after-Labor-Day kickoff to a new CPS school year.
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