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CPS To Distribute Approximately 150,000 Take-Home COVID Test Kits Ahead of Winter Break

14 December 2021

Families are Encouraged to Test Students on Tuesday, Dec. 28

CPS Office of Communications

Phone: 773-553-1620
Twitter: @chipubschools
Facebook: chicagopublicschools

CHICAGO — Chicago Public Schools (CPS) this week will distribute approximately 150,000 take-home COVID test kits to more than 300 schools in communities that have been highly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

To ensure the test is processed properly and that families receive test results in a timely manner, families are strongly encouraged to test students on Tuesday, Dec. 28 and drop the sample at their nearest FedEx Drop Box on the same day. Parents can find information about drop box locations and pickup hours at Instructions for conducting the test will be provided to each student that receives a test kit.

With the goal of advancing equitable testing strategies focused on the most impacted communities, CPS used the city's COVID-19 Community Vulnerability Index (CCVI) to guide distribution of test kits. All schools in neighborhoods designated high risk by the CCVI and most elementary schools in neighborhoods designated as medium risk will receive tests for each student. The CCVI considers socio-demographic, epidemiological, and occupational risk factors, in addition to the number of COVID cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in a particular area. Visit this link for more information on the CCVI. For a list of schools that will be receiving tests, visit this link.

"Research shows us that most of the COVID cases we see in CPS are not because of in-school spread — they are due to social situations like playdates and family gatherings that have fewer protections in place than our schools,” said CPS CEO Pedro Martinez. “We know that families will be gathering for the holidays, so we are providing these tests to our students who may be at most risk so we can reduce the spread of COVID and protect our school communities. I want to thank our partner Thermo Fisher for working closely with us to get as many tests as possible to our schools and our families ahead of the break.”

Families whose students do not receive a test from CPS are also strongly encouraged to test their students over winter break. Visit for testing opportunities in the community. As always, sick faculty and students must stay home and anyone who tests positive for the virus must isolate for 10 full days to prevent spread to others.

“Protection through full COVID-19 vaccination of every eligible person is the best gift anyone could share in this season of giving and gathering. We hope that all CPS families will take action to keep themselves and others safe, and testing prior to the return to school after winter break offers yet another layer of protection,” said CPS Chief Health Officer Dr. Kenneth L. Fox. “We know that by taking these critical steps, our students will stay healthy and safe and be ready to learn in January.”

In addition to providing these take-home COVID test kits, CPS encourages all families to sign up for regular weekly testing at CPS schools by visiting, and to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

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