Mayor Lightfoot 'not happy' with high number of Chicago Public Schools students in quarantine

Nearly 10,000 CPS students are in quarantine for potential COVID exposure, CTU says

Sarah Schulte Image
Thursday, September 23, 2021
Lightfoot 'not happy' with nearly 10K CPS students in quarantine
Close to 10,000 Chicago Public Schools students are in quarantine for potential COVID exposure across the district, according to the CTU.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Wednesday she is not happy with how Chicago Public Schools has quarantined students.

According the Chicago Teachers Union, students in 10 out of 17 classrooms at Jensen Elementary on the city's West Side are being quarantined. District wide, CTU says close to 10,000 students are at home for potential COVID exposure.

"There is no reason the numbers should be growing," Lightfoot said. "I'm not happy and frankly deeply disappointed with the way CPS has handled this from the start of the school year."

SEE ALSO | Mayor Lightfoot 'disappointed' with CPS COVID-19 testing rollout

According to CPS data, there are 329 student and 142 adult COVID cases districtwide, which Chicago's Health Commissioner considers quite low given the size of CPS. Yet, there are thousands of students being quarantined.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the numbers should be lower if CDC guidelines were being followed properly.

"Passing someone in the hallway is not 15 minutes of substantive contact that would warrant the kind of quarantining that we have seen," Lightfoot said.

WATCH: Political analyst weighs in on Mayor Lightfoot, CPS COVID plan

Political analyst Laura Washington weighed in on Mayor Lightfoot's critique of CPS' COVID response.

While the mayor continues to vocalize her frustrations with CPS, the union blames Lightfoot for the lack of a COVID safety plan for CPS.

"You cannot be disappointed when you are in control, you cannot be disappointed when you are in power," CTU Vice President Stacy Davis Gates said.

Lightfoot said she has directed Dr. Allison Arwady and her team at Chicago Department of Public Health to get directly involved with CPS to address testing and quarantine issues.

In the meantime, both the mayor and the union continue to point fingers at each other for not coming up with a COVID safety plan agreeable to both sides.