Archdiocese of Chicago schools plan to return to “near-normal, pre-pandemic operations” when students, teachers and staff return for the school year.
School Masses, athletics, music programs and field trips will be restored for students, the archdiocese announced Tuesday. Masks will not be not mandated for vaccinated students, teachers and staff under the ease COVID-19 restrictions.
“These safety guidelines will be reassessed, as necessary, during the academic year to ensure safe operations,” Justin Lombardo, chief human resources officer and chair of the Archdiocesan COVID-19 Task Force, said in the announcement. “And, for the sake of everyone’s health and our collective ability to fully overcome the COVID-19 virus, we will continue to encourage vaccinations for faculty, staff and students over the age of 12.”
Proof of vaccination for eligible students will be encouraged come fall to aid contact tracing and determine if quarantine is necessary. Vaccinated students will not be required to quarantine if they come into close contact with a person who tests positive for COVID-19.
Remaining safety protocols for the 2021-2022 academic year require that students with COVID-19 symptoms stay home and classrooms maintain 3 feet of indoor physical distance when possible. This is in compliance with recent CDC guidance.
Safety guidelines for unvaccinated individuals will be released by early August.
The Archdiocese of Chicago serves about 45,000 students in 162 Catholic schools.