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Many epidemiologists anticipate that there will be a winter surge of COVID infections, especially after our students and families are in congregate settings, like during the upcoming Thanksgiving break and throughout the winter. Already last week, COVID cases were up 15% over the previous week, after a month of downward trending.

There are mitigations in place through our safety agreements that go beyond CDC guidance to ensure testing and contact tracing is ongoing. To that point, we want to encourage members to use your safety committees to address COVID mitigation problems you observe. If problems cannot be resolved through the safety committee and principal, please report them to the district safety committee at ctulocal1.org/report.

I especially want to encourage our members to lead contact tracing and phone banking teams to sign our students up for PCR testing. For contact tracing and telephonic outreach to parents, you will need to get the principal’s permission to work at your after school hourly rate of pay. A hand in medical gloves holds a syringe and a dose bottle that says: COVID 19 Coronavirus VaccinePlease familiarize yourself with the process for getting paid for any work you put in.

Additionally, only 10% of eligible residents have received the latest COVID boosters. Read here to learn more about this concern. Information on where to find a COVID booster with CPS is here and citywide can be found here and CPS is holding mass vaccination events weekly for students and staff. The city will hold mass vaccination events this Saturday at Wright College and Kennedy King College.

It’s important to note that any members of either bargaining unit can perform the outreach of phone banking for contact tracing and PCR test signups. So, please include both SEIU and CTU members in the outreach to sign up for this important work.