Spotlight Politics: Chicago Public Schools Goes Remote


Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced Wednesday that Chicago Public Schools is moving to a fully remote schedule this fall.

The decision is “rooted in the public health data,” Lightfoot said.

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“Make no mistake, here in Chicago we are in a better place than most other areas in the country and in the surrounding area,” Lightfoot said. “But the fact of the matter is, we are seeing an increase in cases. Combined with the trends that were seeing, the decision to start remotely makes sense for a district of CPS’s size and diversity.”

Meanwhile, the City Council’s Health and Human Relations Committee held a virtual meeting Wednesday with Dr. Allison Arwady, commissioner of the Department of Public Health, who spoke of the changing nature of the virus’s spread, which is shifting away from congregate settings like nursing homes.

“We are absolutely seeing, now, cases primarily happening and being spread within households and within social gatherings. That's much harder for the city, the health department to police,” Arwady said.

Speaking from Southern Illinois on Tuesday, Gov. J.B. Pritzker also offered a warning about changing virus patterns.

“I’m here today because the COVID-19 pandemic, which seemed tame in Carbondale and throughout the entire region, is now surging here,” he said. “It’s worse than in Chicago.”

And on Wednesday, the governor said that if local officials don’t take action to curb the spread of the virus, the state could see additional restrictions — including, possibly, another stay-at-home order.

“Without local action, even more stringent regulations restricting public interaction — or in the extreme, another stay-at-home order — might be in your future,” he warned.

Our politics team of Amanda Vinicky, Paris Schutz and Heather Cherone weighs in on these stories and more in this week’s roundtable.

Follow us on Twitter: @wttw | @paschutz | @CarolMarin@AmandaVinicky | @HeatherCherone 


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