Chicago Schools Sending COVID Testing Kits Home for the Holidays

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Courtesy of Erno Hannink (Flickr CC0)

Chicago Public Schools (CPS) is sending COVID-19 self-testing kits home with 150,000 students. Pedro Martinez, CPS CPO, explains he is extremely concerned about increased coronavirus cases at schools after winter break. These tests are being distributed at schools in communities where the infection rate is rising. These students will be expected to take the test on Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2021, so the district has the results before the school resumes after winter break.

The goal is to have the results by Friday, December 31, so they can identify any students testing positive. Their hope is to have the students return to school safely.

COVID
Courtesy of Michael Coghlan (Flickr CC0)

So they are asking parents to drop off the tests right away after the test is taken at a FedEx Box; locations can be found by going to the company’s website. Martinez said they will announce additional drop-off locations soon.

The schools were chosen using the COVID Vulnerability Index. All schools designated as high or medium risk will give the students tests to take home. Basically, these schools are also in areas with low vaccination rates.

CPS encourages every student to be tested before returning to school even those who did not receive one to take home. To find locations, the CPS website offers a search feature to find pediatric COVID-19 testing sites. Martinez explains this is not an overreaction:

Research shows us that most of the COVID cases we see in CPS are not because of in-school spread – they are due to social situations like playdates and family gatherings that have fewer protections in place than our school.

The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) has authorized COVID-19 vaccines for everyone five years and older. Moreover, they recently approved booster shots for everyone 16 and older.

COVID-19 vaccinations and tests are free to everyone regardless of insurance or immigration status.

Written by Cathy Milne-Ware

Sources:

ABC 7 News: Chicago Public Schools distributes COVID testing kits ahead of winter break as cases rise; by Sarah Schulte
ABC 7 News: Chicago Public Schools distributing 150K COVID testing kits for students to use over winter break
Chicago Public Schools: Pediatric COVID-19 Testing Sites
FedEx: Find FedEx locations – Chicago

Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Erno Hannink’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of Michael Coghlan’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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