CHICAGO — Chicago Public Schools officials are asking that students take a COVID-19 test before returning to the classroom.

Classes resume Monday for all CPS students after the two-week winter holiday break.

CPS is recommending that students take a rapid COVID-19 test before heading back to school. Students who test positive should use the “Self Reporting Tool” on the CPS website.

Some parents told WGN News that the request and other precautions made them feel safer about sending their kids back to the classrooms.

“They were so ready, ready to get back in the swing of things,” said CPS parent Diane Diaz. “They missed their friends and their teachers.”

Students who present symptoms of Covid, the flu or RSV are being asked to stay home.

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But Diaz said she was surprised the request needed to be sent out.

“I think it’s kind of a reminder that this isn’t necessarily over 100%, so I think it’s a good little nudge like, ‘hey, in case you forget, this is still going on, so if your kids are sick, just do whatever you feel is morally good to keep them and those around them safe,'” she said.

With a new COVID-19 variant on the rise, doctors say this is the time to take extra precautions.

“It does have a lot more mutation and it is more transmissible than prior Covid variants,” said Dr. Tina Tan with Lurie Children’s Hospital.

CPS is also encouraging students to wear masks to help prevent the spread of upper respiratory infections.

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