Aligned with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) supports the phased reopening of city schools. Under CDPH's watchful eye, in-person instruction is allowable under current public health conditions.
During a global pandemic, risk exists for any public gathering. However, to mitigate these risks, the district has developed a comprehensive plan that includes health and safety policies and procedures aligned to local, state, and federal guidance.
Measures established in our Reopening Framework include:
Cloth face coverings will be provided to all staff and students and required at all times.
Elementary School students and educators will be grouped into stable pods or small class sizes to minimize exposure to other students, allow for social distancing in classrooms, and support contact tracing
Temperature checks, hand washing, and daily risk and symptom screenings are required of staff, students, and visitors to any CPS building.
To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, the district will facilitate or assist with referral of any student or staff member who is symptomatic or a close contact of someone who tested positive to a free COVID-19 test.
To help reduce the transmission of COVID-19, CPS has hired dedicated staff to support the intake of cases and provide proper notification. CPS will work in coordination with CDPH to ensure that those identified as close contacts have rapid contact tracing and are connected to city resources such as monitoring and testing.
HEPA Filters and Air Quality Assessments
Through an $8.5 million investment by the district, every classroom and front office is receiving its own HEPA purifier, which filters over 99.99% of airborne viruses, bacteria, and mold. And to ensure buildings are properly ventilated, the district conducted multi-stage ventilation and air quality assessments, which inspected every room and utilized state-certified environmental specialists. Those reports can be found at cps.edu/airquality. The district has also spent $70 million on mechanical upgrades.
To ensure comprehensive cleaning protocols are completed every day, the district is hiring 400 additional custodians.
Sanitizer and Soap
The district invested over $3.5 million to secure over 50,000 hand sanitizer dispensers in all high-traffic areas and soap dispensers to support regular hand washing and sanitizing.
The district allocated over $2.94 million to purchase 92,667 containers of EPA approved disinfectant wipes for classrooms, offices and other high-touch areas.
Hospital-Grade Disinfectant Sprayers
Every CPS school has a hospital-grade mister spray unit that will evenly apply EPA-approved disinfectant for maximum disinfection.
CPS adopted consistent procedures and community notification protocols developed by CDPH to respond to any confirmed cases of COVID-19. To ensure public awareness, the district is tracking confirmed COVID cases at cps.edu/school-reopening-2020.
Plexiglass Dividers and Signage
All schools installed plexiglass dividers and other physical barriers to protect staff when visitors arrive, and posted signage throughout school facilities to emphasize new policies and procedures.