Chicago Public Schools Shortening COVID-19 Quarantine to 5 Days Starting This Week

(WTTW News)(WTTW News)

Chicago Public Schools will begin implementing a shorter COVID-19 quarantine time this week as more than 14,000 students and staff are currently in isolation.

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The district will officially shorten its quarantine time from 10 days down to five days starting Tuesday, following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that is already in place across Illinois.

“A swift return to in-person instruction gives faculty and students the best opportunity to teach and learn — and thrive amid their school community,” CPS CEO Pedro Martinez said in a statement Monday.


Under the revised policy, students who test positive for COVID-19 will need to isolate and learn at home for at least five days. If their symptoms are gone by day six, they can return to their school, though they will be required to wear a mask at all times unless eating or drinking for the next five days. When those students are eating or drinking, they’re required to stay six feet away from others.

If a student is still exhibiting symptoms after day five, they must remain home for 10 days. Students who have been granted an exemption from wearing a mask at school must also remain quarantined for 10 days following a positive test. 

Vaccinated students who are identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19 will not be required to quarantine, while those who are unvaccinated will need to stay home for five days if they are a close contact.

As of Monday, 13,612 CPS students and 459 adults are currently in quarantine or isolation, according to the district’s online dashboard.

CPS said it is now testing more than 55,000 people for COVID-19 per week.

Contact Matt Masterson: @ByMattMasterson[email protected] | (773) 509-5431


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