CPS going mask optional Monday despite continued pushback from teachers union

CPS CEO Pedro Martinez says some schools should keep masking
CHICAGO (WLS) -- Masks will be optional when Chicago Public School students return to classes Monday.

The video featured is from a previous report.

CPS CEO Pedro Martinez announced the move last week, saying the current COVID data and advice from public health experts indicate it is safe to do so.

RELATED | Bare-faced Chicago Public Schools students sent home as district moves toward mask-optional policy

However, Martinez is also encouraging students at schools with low vaccination rates to continue wearing masks.

Vaccination rates remain low in several South and West side schools. Over a third (37%) of schools have fewer than 25% of their students fully vaccinated, and only 10% of schools have 70% of their students fully vaccinated, according to a previous report.

Overall, 49% of age eligible CPS students are fully vaccinated. But that number is driven up by schools, many on the North Side, with high rates. Northside College Prep being the highest at 89%, and the lowest is Penn Elementary on the West Side at 5%.

The current test positivity rate in the city is 0.7%.

Still, the Chicago Teachers Union is pushing back. It has filed a labor grievance, saying the decision violates their safety agreement set back in January.
Copyright © 2022 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.