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We’ve gotten news from CPS that 80% of all of our schools have elected to maintain their care room attendants, which are provided centrally by the district through an outside vendor. These positions were established by CTU and SEIU in our safety agreements to ensure that there was dedicated staff, beyond existing positions, available to assist sick children while they wait for a parent or guardian to pick them up. For schools that did not elect to maintain those positions, principals must designate an area and staff support to assist students who develop Covid symptoms during the day.

There are currently 10 times the number of children admitted to hospitals for RSV than on average for this time of year. The city has just upgraded the Covid threat level to medium and the combination of respiratory viruses, the flu and new strains of Covid make for a dangerous combination of risks for students and staff during the holiday season. As a result of the respiratory nature of illnesses, school facilities, air quality, and the general environment in the building are vitally important.

Use the tools we’ve developed through our safety agreements with CPS to protect your members, students and school communities.

If there are any challenges with weekly Covid testing or other issues you’re facing, please complete theTesting Challenges and Issues reporting form to inform CPS and CTU of any issues or concerns. To report incidents that a School Safety Committee has tried to resolve with their administration without success, use ourform for COVID safety issues at the district level. Please only report incidents that have already been reported to your administration for at least 24 hours and preferably 48 hours (if the urgency of the situation allows).

The CTU Safety page also has a wealth of information and links to helpful toolkits and forms. Check it out at ctulocal1.org/safety.

Only 3 percent of three to four year olds in CPS have taken full advantage of vaccine access – half the already very low citywide rate among children that age. Please remind students, families and colleagues that there are an abundance of vaccines available throughout the city. People can receive initial shots and boosters by using the district’s portal to book an appointment. Walk-ins are also available. Check out the options here.

In solidarity,

CTU Safety Committee