cps logo

Chicago Public Schools will require masks for students and staff

July 23, 2021
Everyone inside the district's school buildings will have to wear face coverings regardless of vaccination status.

Chicago Public Schools students, teachers and staff will be required to wear masks indoors, regardless of their vaccination status, when they return to classrooms next month.

The Chicago Tribune reports that the district's announcement news comes as Chicago sees a rise in coronavirus cases attributed to the highly contagious delta variant. More than 90% of those hospitalized and 95% of those now dying from Covid-19 in Chicago are unvaccinated, .

“Based on feedback from our public health experts at the local, state and federal levels, as well as the American Academy of Pediatrics, 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,” interim district Chief Executive Officer José Torres wrote in a letter to parents.

“Face coverings may be removed for outdoor activities, such as recess and some sports activities. 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.”

The district says it will also try to ensure that 3 feet of social distancing is maintained wherever possible when schools reopen Aug. 30 for full-time instruction. The district said some students will eat lunch in a classroom, while others will eat in their school cafeteria to allow for social distancing during mealtimes.

City records show that 47% of Chicago children 12 to 17 had received their first vaccine dose as of Wednesday; nearly 36% of that age group are fully vaccinated.. 

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said fully vaccinated students, teachers and staff don’t need face coverings inside classrooms. but the American Academy of Pediatrics says everyone older than 2 years old should wear a mask in schools, regardless of their vaccination status.

Sponsored Recommendations

Providing solutions that help creativity, collaboration, and communication.

Discover why we’re a one-stop shop for all things education. See how ODP Business Solutions can help empower your students, school, and district to succeed by supporting healthier...

Building Futures: Transforming K–12 Learning Environments for Tomorrow's Leaders

Discover how ODP Business Solutions® Workspace Interiors partnered with a pioneering school system, overcoming supply chain challenges to furnish 18 new K–12 campuses across 4...

How to design flexible learning spaces that teachers love and use

Unlock the potential of flexible learning spaces with expert guidance from school districts and educational furniture providers. Discover how to seamlessly integrate adaptive ...

Blurring the Lines in Education Design: K–12 to Higher Ed to Corporate America

Discover the seamless integration of educational and corporate design principles, shaping tomorrow's leaders from kindergarten to boardroom. Explore innovative classroom layouts...