State Watch

Chicago schools see highest number of student COVID-19 cases


Chicago Public Schools (CPS) hit a pandemic record for daily new COVID-19 cases in students last week, as case numbers rise across the city.

The school system reported more than 600 cases last week, up from almost 500 new student cases the previous week and just over 250 student cases the week before that, the district’s data showed

Nearly 9,000 students were quarantined or isolated on Sunday, down from 10,000 students as of Friday. 

On Friday, a CPS spokesperson said that officials “remain vigilant” about testing and other policies like masking and social distancing, noting that no one would be required to quarantine if everyone got fully vaccinated, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The Hill has reached out to Chicago Public Schools for comment. 

Chicago has also seen a general uptick in new cases and in hospitalizations. Over 72 percent of adults in Chicago are fully vaccinated, city data indicated. Similarly, the state of Illinois has also seen a rise in daily case averages recently, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

The increase in infections comes as health officials across the country encourage Americans to receive their booster shots to protect against the new omicron variant, which was first discovered in South Africa. 

Earlier this month, President Biden assured the public that he would not combat the pandemic this winter with “shutdowns or lockdowns” but instead said he would employ “more widespread vaccinations, boosters, testing and more.”

“Today, over 99% of schools are open, and we need to make sure we keep it that way this winter,” Biden wrote in an op-ed published in USA Today. “While vaccinating our kids is critical to keeping our schools open, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is also reviewing new approaches to keep our children in school instead of quarantining at home.”

Tags Chicago Chicago Public Schools COVID-19 Joe Biden United States responses to the COVID-19 pandemic

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