Dear South Loop Community:
Earlier, Chicago Public Schools sent a letter to all families and staff with key information for how to stay safe and healthy over the Thanksgiving break and throughout the colder months. The city has been seeing higher rates of flu, RSV, and COVID-19 so it’s very important that families and staff take steps to keep themselves and each other safe from illness. Rapid take-home COVID-19 test kits can be requested from the main offices of the school by parents and students. Each kit contains 2 COVID-19 tests.
COVID-19 testing is recommended:
- Prior to travel
- After Thanksgiving, Winter, or Spring Break
- Before and after gatherings and large events.
- Anytime you feel sick If you test positive at any time, please submit your results at cps.edu/covidresults and follow isolation and masking instructions.
Below please find the safety note from CPS. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to our school’s administration with any questions or concerns.
We are sending rapid tests home with students today. Please test your child on Sunday to confirm a negative result before returning to school on November 28th.
Planning for a Safe and Healthy Thanksgiving
Dear CPS Families,
The Thanksgiving holiday is right around the corner, which means that plans are being made to gather with family and friends. We want everyone in our CPS community to fully enjoy their holiday, but we also want everyone to be safe.
Unfortunately, cases of several airborne illnesses, including the flu, COVID-19, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) are all currently on the rise. This combination creates a greater risk of infection when gathering for holiday celebrations, especially for our loved ones who are more vulnerable to becoming seriously ill.
The good news is that there are steps you can take to keep everyone around you healthy and safe this Thanksgiving:
- Get COVID-19 Tests at All CPS Schools. We urge you to take home free COVID-19 tests from your child’s school this week before we break for Thanksgiving. These tests are available at every CPS school, and we strongly recommend that students test before and after family gatherings and before returning to school from the Thanksgiving break. As always, if your child tests positive for COVID-19, please report the positive test here, and please follow the guidance here.
- Wear a Mask. While CPS schools remain mask-optional, we highly encourage wearing a mask in school to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other airborne illnesses.
- Stay Updated on Vaccines. Being up-to-date on vaccinations is one of the best ways you can keep your loved ones safe as we enter the winter months. CPS continues to offer COVID-19 vaccines, including the new “bivalent booster” that offers increased protection against the virus, at a variety of sites. Please visit cps.edu/vaccinations to review your options and make an appointment.
- Get Your Flu Shot. CPS is offering flu shots alongside COVID vaccines at our four permanent regional clinics and both our elementary and high school mobile programs. For additional opportunities to get a flu shot, visit this page.
- Practice Good Hand Hygiene. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Stay Home If You Are Sick If you are having the following symptoms, consider postponing your gathering and consult with your healthcare provider:
- Fever 100.4 or higher; chills
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty breathing
- Sore throat
- New loss of taste or smell
- New muscle or body aches
- Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
- Runny nose or congestion
RSV and influenza have some similar symptoms to COVID-19, and you still risk spreading them to others.
Let’s be grateful for our health this Thanksgiving, and grateful that there are steps we can take to make sure those we love stay healthy as well. We thank you for your partnership and wish all of you a safe and restful Thanksgiving holiday filled with laughter, love, and joy.
Chicago Public Schools