Please go to the Color website at https://www.color.com/readycheckgo-cps and select whether you are registering for a staff member or student. You can then search for your school name for your school's unique sign-up link. City Wide employees should search "City Wide Employees" and use that link to register.
CPS has partnered with Thermo Fisher to offer free, regular testing to students and staff for COVID-19. Regular testing means that testing is offered to everyone on a weekly basis, even if they don’t have symptoms of COVID-19.
Testing will be offered to all staff and students weekly.
CPS will offer testing on-site at schools during the school day on a weekly basis.
The COVID-19 tests will be free to students and staff. You will never receive a bill, and your insurance will not be charged.
The test will involve a nasal swab. It is a quick and easy test. This nasal test gently swabs the inner part of the lower nostril. The test is not painful. We do not use the longer swabs that reach higher into the nose. There will be medical personnel on site to supervise swabbing and support students if needed.
Collection of samples (swabbing) will be conducted by students/staff unless participants need assistance. In this instance the onsite medical staff, which are experienced medical clinicians can administer sample collection.
We are working with each school to create a consistent day and time for the testing teams to collect samples at your school. Testing will take place at school in a location designated by the school principal where social distancing can be easily observed. Each school principal will receive a notification from Thermo Fisher with the date and time and will share this information with the whole school community.
The results of the test should be available within 24-48 hrs.
Our testing program uses a PCR test, which does not provide immediate results because it is sent to a lab for analysis.
Parents/guardians and staff will receive an email with a link unique to your school and your role (student/staff), which will take you to CPS’ technology vendor Color’s website. You will use this link to register and sign a virtual consent to be tested. Please reach out to your school principal or covidtestingcps.edu if you did not receive a link or would like to request a paper copy.
No, once you have registered and consented once, you do not need to resubmit registration before testing each week.
Email email@example.com with subject line “Testing Opt Out” and the information below.
Testing will be offered onsite weekly.
No. For the health and safety of the entire school community, anyone with COVID-like symptoms should stay home and contact their primary care provider for a diagnostic test. Screening testing is only for asymptomatic individuals.
No, once a person tests positive for COVID-19 on a diagnostic test, the CDC recommends that they do not retest for 90 days (unless recommended by a primary care physician due to new symptoms) because people can continue to test positive but not be contagious.
Chicago Public Schools will follow precautions prescribed by public health agencies. All testing staff will perform hand hygiene before testing and wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). This includes an APR or N95 mask, face shield, gloves, and medical gown for healthcare staff assisting with specimen collection, and face masks and additional items for other team members. All PPE and testing-related materials will be properly disposed of once testing is completed, followed by additional hand hygiene. Hand sanitizer is available to everyone who participates in testing, and the testing team has access to a handwashing facility with soap and water.
A close contact is anyone who has been within six feet of the presumptive positive person for 15 minutes or longer within a 24-hour period, with or without a mask. The CPS contact tracing team will follow this protocol and be in touch with next steps.
No. At this time, unvaccinated staff and student athletes must participate in the CPS-sponsored testing at their school.
If you are fully vaccinated:
No, COVID-19 tests are optional, although strongly encouraged. If you choose not to enroll in the program, you can still attend work in person.
If you are not fully vaccinated or have been granted an exemption for medical or religious reasons:
Yes, COVID-19 tests are required to attend work in person on a weekly basis.
Current CDC guidance states that if you are fully vaccinated, you do not need to be tested unless you develop COVID-19 symptoms or have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19. Testing will be conducted in accordance with CDC testing guidance.
Testing results will be shared only for public health purposes, which may include notifying close contacts that they may have been exposed to COVID-19 and taking other steps to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 in your school community. Information sharing and notifying of contacts will be done in a way that protects your privacy. Sharing of information will only be done in accordance with applicable law and policies protecting privacy and the security of your data.
Your school is responsible for providing supervision for your classroom during your ten-minute testing window.
We will ask you to stay home. CPS contact tracing will reach out to you and you will be asked to provide information about your close contacts so that everyone who has been exposed can be notified. We will be in touch to discuss medical care and other support for you and your family.
Regular testing is a safe, effective way to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and help keep our schools open for in-person learning. Many people with COVID-19, especially children and teens, don’t have symptoms but can still spread the virus, so regular testing helps find infections before they can spread to others. This is especially important for children under 12 years old who are not yet able to get vaccinated against COVID-19, families and staff with younger children at home, and others who are not vaccinated or are otherwise at risk for getting seriously sick from COVID-19. Regular testing will help us keep students in the classroom and allow students to take part in the other activities they love.
No, COVID-19 tests are optional, although strongly encouraged, especially for those who are unvaccinated. Students will not be tested without both the student and guardian giving their consent.
COVID-19 tests are required to take part in school sports. Student athletes must get tested once per week to be eligible to play in upcoming games.
A child can refuse to be tested even if their parent has consented. They can simply decline the test when it is offered to them during the school day. Please note that testing is mandatory for unvaccinated student athletes and if an athlete declines a test, this may limit their sports participation.
Testing results will be shared only for public health purposes, which may include notifying close contacts that they may have been exposed to COVID-19 and taking other steps to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 in your school community. Information sharing and notifying of contacts will be done in a way that protects your child’s privacy. Sharing of information about your child will only be done in accordance with applicable law and policies protecting student privacy and the security of your child’s data.
Each school will have a consistent testing schedule and can expect that their child will be offered testing weekly if consent has been provided.
Our regular testing will take place every week.
No, testing shouldn’t interfere with your child’s school schedule. The test is quick and easy, and students will be able to fit the test into their day without disrupting learning. The entire testing process should take approximately five minutes.
No, the testing must be done under the supervision of a healthcare professional.
We will ask you to keep your child home. You will be asked to provide information about your child’s close contacts so that everyone who has been exposed can be notified. We will be in touch to discuss medical care and other support for your child and family.
CPS contact tracing will be reaching out to you via email if your child was deemed a close contact of someone who has COVID-19.
Student testing will take place weekly at every school, during the school day at a designated day and time. Principals, APs and other school-based staff will support logistics at the school level to ensure that students (especially younger students) who have registered for testing are notified that the testing team will be on site and are allowed to participate in testing during this time.
No. The parent/guardian only needs to fill out the consent form once. The consent form will prompt parents/guardians with a few questions regarding whether this test is for symptomatic or asymptomatic students, include general information about the student, provide contact information, and require an e-signature consenting to testing.
Completed vaccination cards/records must be submitted to the school nurse, who will then enter the information into ASPEN.
A student can submit documentation of a negative PCR or antigen test that was administered by a medical professional. Store-bought, self-administered rapid tests will not be accepted as proof. Documentation must include the location that test was administered, the date (within the past 7 days), the student name, and the test result.
Vaccinated individuals should plan on pausing activities for the day that the positive test is confirmed while the district investigates. Vaccinated athletes can return to school and practice/games after the pause if they remain asymptomatic, as they do not need to quarantine. Unvaccinated student athletes must remain in quarantine.
Yes. All vendor employees must comply with this mandate.
An individual is fully vaccinated against COVID-19 two weeks after receiving the second dose in a two-dose series of a COVID-19 vaccine authorized for emergency use, licensed, or otherwise approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), or two weeks after receiving a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine authorized for emergency use, licensed, or otherwise approved by the FDA.
This varies by vendor. Vendor employees must provide proof to their employer. CPS cannot accept vaccination documentation.
This varies by vendor. Vendor employees must provide proof to their employer. CPS cannot accept vaccination documentation.
CPS is not accepting any documentation. Vendors must attest that they will comply with CPS vendor vaccination requirements in the CPS Supplier Portal.
Vendors must provide exempted employees with a Nucleic Acid Amplification Test (NAAT) once per week. More information about NAATs may be found on the CDC’s website.
Vendors must attest that they are meeting our vendor vaccination requirement in the CPS Supplier Portal.
We will use a viral test, known as a nucleic acid amplification (NAAT) test, that is analyzed by a lab and takes about 24 hours to get results back. This test will tell if you or your child has a current COVID-19 infection, regardless of whether symptoms are present.
Pooling specimens allows laboratories to increase the volume of testing while using fewer testing materials. Pooling can also increase efficiency (time and labor) and reduce the overall cost of testing.
You can learn more about pooled testing at the CDC’s website.
Because the sample is pooled randomly in the lab and not on site, individuals will not receive notification if someone in the pool tests positive. This is because each person tested will receive an individual result of positive or negative. If an individual has been exposed to someone who tests positive, CPS will follow contract tracing protocols to alert individuals and/or parents of next actions.
If you are a CPS student or staff, please self report your positive case to CPS.edu/COVIDresults and CPS will reach out to you to complete an interview to identify any close contacts.
Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19, either through the CPS testing program or an outside test, should not test again for 90 days after the date of the initial positive test. A negative test is not required to return to school after isolation or quarantine.
Even if the unvaccinated employee/student is asymptomatic, they may have been exposed to the virus and should stay home for 5 days after their last exposure. CDPH also recommends that the close contact gets tested five days after being exposed, regardless of vaccination status. Visit the CDPH website to find a testing site near you.
Health authorities require those who have tested positive for COVID-19 to complete an “isolation” period; those who may have been exposed to COVID-19 and do not have symptoms of COVID-19 must complete a “quarantine” period. In practice, isolation and quarantine both mean to stay home and stay separated from others who have not been exposed to COVID-19.
Asymptomatic students who are up to date on their Covid-19 vaccines, do not need to quarantine. However, unvaccinated students or those who are not up to date on their Covid-19 vaccines, who are close contacts of someone who has tested positive will need to stay home and quarantine for 5 days from their last contact with the positive individual.
“Up to date” exempts an asymptomatic person from quarantine.
For people 18+, “up to date” is achieved by completion of primary vaccination series AND booster when eligible.
For people under 18, “up to date” is achieved by completion of the primary series alone.
They will be marked absent and they will not have access to live two-way remote instruction. They can expect to receive communication regarding coursework and assignments but their learning will continue in an asynchronous format, not via a live two-way exchange.
No. Only students who are directed to quarantine by CPS or CDPH will have access to synchronous online remote instruction. Other students who are staying home can expect to still get access to their coursework and assignments but their learning will continue in an asynchronous (not live same-time) remote format.
They should submit the info (copy of the card) to the child's school. A school nurse will enter the dates into our student information system.
CPS also works with CDPH to collect vaccination data for individual students on a regular basis. This data is entered into our student information system on a recurring basis.
Our plan is to open school doors for all CPS students on Monday, January 3. We will investigate and carefully monitor self-reported cases of COVID-19 in all schools and will be ready to transition a classroom or school to remote learning if that is what is needed to keep students and staff safe. However, there are no plans for a district-wide shift to remote learning.
Data has shown over and over again that our schools are among the safest places for students - with universal masking, social distancing, vaccination, testing, and transitioning to remote as needed. Most of the time, COVID-19 is spread in informal, community and household settings outside of school in which fewer protections are in place — playdates, family gatherings, community events, shopping outings, public transportation, etc. We want to keep as many of our students in school as possible, as nearly two years of research shows that school is the best place for them to be academically, socially, mentally, physically, and emotionally. In addition, transitioning to remote instruction in broad sweeps would send vaccinated and un-impacted students to remote learning unnecessarily. Unless there is a state or city emergency declaration, we have no plans to transition the District to remote learning.