CHICAGO — Chicago Public Schools have released the number of COVID-19 cases since school started two weeks ago.
In the first two weeks of school, CPS reported 245 confirmed cases of COVID-19 — 155 were students, the rest adults. Another 5,400 kids and staff have been identified as being in close contact and potentially exposed.
Taft High School recorded the highest number of confirmed cases in the first two weeks — just eight cases, but those cases have led to 550 close contacts.
From the beginning, CPS students, parents, staff and the Chicago Teachers Union knew the 2021-22 school year would be a challenging one.
Moving forward, Pedro Martinez, a graduate of Benito Juarez High School and Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s choice to lead CPS and it’s next CEO. Martinez grew up in Chicago and currently runs schools in San Antonio, Texas.
If approved by the board, a big part of his job will be managing the virus to keep kids and CPS staff safe, and in the classroom.
The Chicago Teachers Union has criticized CPS for not being more transparent with what it reports, rolling back some safety protocols and the lack of a widespread Covid testing program.
The districts missed it’s own deadline for a testing program, according to the Chicago Tribune, but this week will offer nasal swabs at 170 schools — just a fraction of the 500 plus schools in the district, but more will get up to speed in the coming weeks.
Along with managing Covid, the new CEO of CPS will also have to manage and bargain with the powerful CTU.