Chicago Public Schools (CPS), the third largest school district in the US, has registered 89 student and 71 adult Covid-19 cases from August 29 till this week, an increase from the 39 infections initially reported, a media report said.
Meanwhile, the district has identified more than 2,900 close contacts of the cases logged from August 29 to Wednesday, per its online numbers, Xinhua news agency quoted the Chicago Tribune report as saying on Thursday
The new tracker data comes 10 days after CPS students returned to classrooms for full-time, in-person learning for the first time since March 2020.
But the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) doubts the accuracy of the Covid-19 data as CPS is reporting only once a week on its online public dashboard.
In Wednesday’s online update, CTU Chief of Staff Jennifer Johnson said the quarantine policy seems to be “varying across schools, We have to have consistency, transparency and policy”.
Wednesday’s data only reflected the number of confirmed cases and the number of close contacts of these cases, which are people who came within 6 feet of an infected person for 15 or more minutes in a 24-hour period.
It’s unclear if the CPS case numbers would be higher if the voluntary Covid-19 testing program was up and running in all schools.
CPS is allowing parents to sign their student up for the free, weekly testing program that is only mandatory for unvaccinated and half-vaccinated student-athletes during their sports seasons and unvaccinated staff members.
The program is off to a slow start, with CPS now promising to test at 100 per cent of schools by September 15.
It’s unclear how many students and staff members have been directed to quarantine since school started August 30, the local media reported.