CPS asking students to test for COVID-19 ahead of return to schools next week


CHICAGO — Chicago Public Schools officials are asking students to get tested for COVID-19 on Tuesday to ensure results will be back in time for classes to resume on January 3.

The Chicago Teachers Union has said the city is failing to distribute at-home tests to the students who need them the most.

Just before winter break, schools such as Park Manor Elementary in the Grand Crossing neighborhood were virtually empty due to widespread COVID-19 cases.

Hundreds of CPS students and staff members were in quarantine due to close contact with someone who tested positive.

The school district said it has provided 150,000 home testing kits to parents to test their children and send the results back on a laptop. The district concentrated sending the tests to the areas hardest hit by the virus, though signing up for a test is possible at the CPS website.

The drop off locations include designated FedEx sites and participating Chicago Public Library locations.

Information on FedEx drop boxes is available here.

Between noon and 5 p.m. Tuesday tests can be dropped off at these libraries:
● Englewood: Kelly Branch, 6151 S. Normal Blvd.
● South Shore: South Shore Branch, 2505 E. 73rd St.
● Auburn Gresham: Thurgood Marshall Branch, 7506 S. Racine Ave.
● Southeast Side: Vodak-East Side Branch, 3710 E. 106th St.
● Austin: Austin Branch, 5615 W. Race Ave.
● Altgeld Gardens: Altgeld Branch, 933 E. 131st Place

CPS staff members are also being asked to test themselves for Covid-19 before returning to school.

If parents make that deadline, they should get results back in time before students return to class.

A list of schools sending kits home is available here and listed below.

CTU officials said most students at Park Manor were in quarantine and unable to receive the testing kits, with parents having issues accessing testing kits as well. Union members plan to walk parents through the process later Tuesday at the school.

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