Chicago Public Schools will require anyone inside its schools to wear a mask once classes start at the end of next month regardless of vaccination status, a top city official announced this week.
CPS’ Interim Chief Executive Officer José Torres wrote a letter to parents on Thursday informing them of the mask requirement, saying "that ensuring students have access to in-person learning five days a week is the highest priority" for the CPS, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Illinois Department of Public Health, and the Chicago Department of Public Health.
"Based on feedback from our public health experts at the local, state and federal levels, as well as the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), we will require that masks/cloth face coverings continue to be worn indoors by everyone, regardless of vaccination status, except for while eating or drinking. This includes students, educators, support staff and all visitors to school buildings," Torres wrote.
"Face coverings may be removed for outdoor activities, such as recess and some sports activities," he added. "Continuing to require masks will help make sure those in our school communities who are not yet eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, which encompasses the majority of our students, remain as safe as possible."
CPS will also require students to follow social distancing practices during lunch hours and in between classes.
"As part of our safety plan, CPS will ensure that three feet of social distancing is maintained wherever possible," Torres notes.
"Our goal is to keep all students healthy and safe while they learn in-person five days a week with their teachers and peers so they can receive the education and supports they need and deserve," he said.
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