CPS to release new quarantine guidance after Lightfoot says 'over-quarantining creates chaos'

Close to 6K CPS students in quarantine as 1,200 test positive for COVID

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Tuesday, October 5, 2021
Close to 6,000 CPS students in quarantine as 1,200 test positive for COVID
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Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Allison Awardy respond to nearly 6,000 CPS students being quarantined after 1,200 tested positive for COVID-19.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago Public Schools will present a new COVID-19 quarantine protocol to help avoid the high number of students who have been forced to isolate at home.

According to CPS data, close to 6,000 Chicago Public Schools students are currently quarantining at home after 1,200 tested positive for COVID-19.

SEE ALSO | CPS elementary school mother dies of COVID, family says caught from daughter through school

The data comes after the vast majority of CPS students spent the last month at school. Mayor Lori Lightfoot and her health commissioner, Dr. Allison Arwady, admitted some schools have been too aggressive and overly cautious in their quarantine protocols for students.

"Over-quarantining creates chaos and that should not be a thing," Lightfoot said. "It's pretty straightforward. We have to be very clear with protocols. We have to not put that burden on building principals; that's not fair to them. And we have to be very transparent with parents."

Pedro Martinez, CPS's new CEO, said he is working with the Chicago Department of Public Health on a plan to avoid over-quarantining and provide districtwide guidance on who should quarantine, adding that he and Arwady will present more details about quarantine guidance Tuesday at a press conference.

SEE ALSO | New Chicago Public Schools CEO, Chicago's top doctor address COVID safety protocols

"We met today," Martinez said. "My first meeting Monday morning, day four, was specifically looking at quarantine procedures, because it's now time to make sure we are aligned with current guidance from CDC."

Martinez said he will also give details about the district's testing plan, which was supposed to be available for all CPS schools beginning last Friday, including information on how many CPS parents are allowing their children to be tested. Still, many parents have asked why it's taken CPS more than a month to fine-tune COVID-19 safety protocols.