CHICAGO — Unless they qualify for a medical or religious exemption, Chicago Public Schools will require all workers to be completely vaccinated against COVID-19 by mid-October.
The rule, which was issued two weeks before full-time in-person learning begins on Aug. 30, affects all Chicago Board of Education personnel, including teachers, staff, central office workers, regular suppliers, and network employees.
In a statement, Mayor Lori Lightfoot stated, “Our Chicago Public School communities deserve a secure and healthy environment that will allow our children to realize their full potential.” California Gov. Gavin Newsom said on Wednesday that all teachers and school personnel will be required to be vaccinated or face weekly COVID-19 testing.
“This new policy complements the district’s overall reopening strategy and guarantees that kids and employees may study in person with confidence,” Lightfoot said. “By taking this step, we will be able to expand our citywide immunization efforts and build on our progress in slowing and halting COVID-19’s spread.”
Unless they have the authorized exemptions, CPS employees must show documentation that they are completely vaccinated by Oct. 15. Employees who have not reported being completely vaccinated will be required to be tested at least once a week until October 15 or until proof of immunizations is provided. Employees with authorized exemptions must be examined at least once a month throughout the school year.
After the majority of CPS staff have been vaccinated, the revelation comes as a surprise. According to the CPS, 67 percent of its staff are completely vaccinated, with the figure rising to 78 percent when partially vaccinated or planned vaccines are included.