Chicago Public Schools to require COVID-19 vaccination for all employees


CHICAGO (WGN) — Chicago Public Schools announced Friday it will require all employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccine — unless they qualify for a medical or religious exemption.

The measure is required for all Board of Education employees, which includes: school-based teachers and staff, central office, regular vendors and network employees, and all other Board employees.

Staff will need to submit proof of full vaccination by Oct. 15, unless they have an approved religious or medical exemption.

CPS students will return back to school full-time in-person on August 30. The district says this measure will help protect students and staff.

“Our Chicago Public School communities deserve a safe and healthy environment that will allow our students to reach their greatest potential,” said Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot. “This new policy enhances the district’s comprehensive reopening plan and ensures that students and staff can confidently learn in-person. Taking this step will further our citywide vaccination efforts and build on our progress in slowing and stopping the spread of COVID-19.”

Employees who have not previously reported to the district that are fully vaccinated must be tested once a week at a minimum until Oct. 15, or until proof of vaccination is submitted.

Testing will continue throughout the school year for staff with a documented exemption.

According to available data, 78 percent of all CPS employees are fully vaccinated, partially vaccinated, or had a vaccination scheduled as of June, while 67 percent reported being fully vaccinated. This data includes individuals who have reported their status to the district and CPS site vaccination data, and it may not tell a complete picture.  

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