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CPS Still Requiring Masks At Schools As Legal Battle Rages

A downstate judge's decision does not overrule Chicago Public Schools' own COVID-19 mitigations, which include requiring masks in schools.

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CHICAGO — Students at Chicago’s public schools are still required to wear masks as a legal battle rages on over the state’s mandate.

A downstate judge issued a ruling Friday where he declared the state’s requirement that people wear masks in schools “null and void,” effectively overturning the mandate. The Illinois Attorney General’s Office is appealing the decision and asking for an expedited decision, the Governor’s Office said Friday.

The decision does not overrule Chicago Public Schools’ own COVID-19 mitigations, which include requiring masks in schools.

The district said it will continue to require those policies, requiring universal mask-wearing in schools and vaccinations and testing for employees.

“We are confident that masking and vaccination have been key parts of keeping the virus transmission low in our classrooms this school year and successfully allowed our faculty and students to safely teach and learn in person,” according to a CPS statement. “Our caseload is declining and the number of vaccinated students and staff continues to increase. We will stay the course.”

Masks, vaccinations, testing and other safety mitigations are meant to slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect people from the virus.

More than 91 percent of CPS staffers are fully vaccinated, according to the district.

Nearly 53 percent of CPS students 12 and older are fully vaccinated, according to the district. About 33 percent of kids 5-11 have gotten at least one dose of a vaccine.

Vaccinations:

• In Illinois, about 7.9 million people — or 62.6 percent of the state’s 12.7 million people — are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to state data.

• Across the state, 25,238 vaccine doses are being administered per day, based on a seven-day rolling average.

• Illinois and Chicago have administered at least 20,696,791 vaccine doses of the 23,202,545 provided to them.

• City data shows more than 1.8 million Chicagoans — or 67.3 percent of all residents — are fully vaccinated, and 75.6 percent of all Chicagoans have gotten at least one shot.

Everyone 5 and older is eligible to get vaccinated in Chicago.

COVID-19 vaccinations are free and do not require insurance. Anyone can call the city’s coronavirus hotline at 312-746-4835 to get more information on how and where to get vaccinated in their community.

The numbers:

• Since Friday, 187 Illinoisans were reported dead from COVID-19.

• At least 31,483 people have died from COVID-19 in Illinois, and another 3,890 deaths are probably related to the virus, according to the state.

• The state reported 13,953 cases since Friday. That brings the total number of confirmed cases in Illinois up to 2,971,516.

• Since Friday, 321,831 tests were reported statewide. In all, 52,167,884 tests have been reported in Illinois.

• Illinois’ seven-day case positivity rate was at 5.5 percent. The figure represents the percentage of people testing positive among recent tests. It was at 5.7 percent Friday.

• Illinois’ seven-day test positivity rate, which measures the percentage of tests that were positive, was at 7.2 percent. It was at 8 percent Friday.

• As of Sunday night, 511 people with COVID-19 were in the ICU and 291 people with COVID-19 were using ventilators in Illinois.

• In Chicago, 29 deaths were reported since Friday. There have been at least 7,027 deaths from COVID-19 in Chicago. The city is seeing an average of 14 people dying per day, down 36 percent from a week ago.

• Chicago has had 1,990 confirmed cases reported since Friday. It’s had a total of 549,800 confirmed cases. An average of 844 confirmed cases are being reported per day, down 48 percent from a week ago.

• Testing in Chicago is down 17 percent from a week ago.

• Chicago’s positivity rate was at 3.8 percent, down from 6 percent a week ago.

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