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COVID Travel Guidelines, CPS Mask Policy Update – NBC Chicago

COVID Travel Guidelines, CPS Mask Policy Update - NBC Chicago

The COVID travel guidelines could either be updated or extended in the coming days.

Already, mandates have been lifted in most Illinois and Chicago settings, including recently announced plans for optional mask teaching in Chicago public schools, but federal guidelines for public transportation remain in place. square.

Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic in Illinois today:

Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin: COVID Risk Breakdown by State

In a dramatic change from months past, masks are currently not recommended in most of the country.

In fact, more than 90% of Americans live in areas deemed medium or low risk for COVID-19, and in those areas, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said people can safely do without masks. .

Last month, the CDC introduced a new set of metrics to determine a community’s level of risk, with less focus on positive test results and more attention on what’s happening in hospitals.

Learn more here.

Federal airline mask mandate set to end March 18, but will it be extended?

Following an increase in COVID-19 cases, the Transportation Security Administration has twice extended the face mask requirement for airports, airplanes, buses and rail systems.

As case counts have declined and other COVID measures have improved in recent months, the TSA is expected to lift the requirement on March 18.

Although the term may be extended once more, it is not known if this will happen.

The requirement remained in place even after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced a change in COVID-19 guidelines late last month, saying most Americans are safe without masks indoors.

Learn more here.

Illinois county-by-county COVID risk levels and mask guidance, CDC says

A large majority of Illinois counties are listed as low risk for COVID-19 transmission, but not all are in the same boat as several are still considered high risk.

According to an updated map released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 68 counties are at low risk. 34 additional counties were placed in the medium category. In these areas, masks are not required, however, those at high risk of severe illness from COVID are advised to speak with their doctor about whether they should wear a mask and take other precautions.

Learn more here.

CTU responds to announcement that CPS will lift mask mandate next week

The Chicago Teachers Union said Chicago Public Schools’ decision to lift its mask mandate for students and staff, moving to a mask-optional policy, is a “clear violation” of the union’s agreement with the district. and promised legal action.

“Our union will immediately file an unfair labor practice (ULP) charge against the district in response, and request that the CPS negotiate this decision – a decision that affects nearly 400,000 students, educators and school staff in Chicago,” the union said in a Monday release.

Learn more here.

CPS will update COVID policy and move to mask optional starting next week

With face covering requirements lifted across Illinois, Chicago Public Schools officials say classrooms will soon transition to a mask-optional model for students and staff.

Starting next week, CPS said its mask mandate would be lifted for all students and staff, giving parents, students and staff a choice, although the district said it would continue to encourage their use.

The CPS was one of the first to call for universal masking in schools, and we would not move to a mask-optional model unless the data and our public health experts indicate it is safe for our school communities,” CPS CEO Pedro Martinez said in a statement. “We will support our staff and students as we enter this new phase of the pandemic and continue to move forward together.”

The CPS mask mandate was part of a deal reached between city officials and the Chicago Teachers Union earlier this year.

Learn more here.

How to order your free COVID tests from the government by mail as a new round is available

Americans can order more free COVID tests from the government by mail, even those who have already received their first shipment, starting this week.

In his State of the Union remarks last week, President Joe Biden said that in addition to launching a new antiviral initiative, his administration would allow American citizens to order another round of free government tests.

Here’s what we know so far.

Can you get COVID twice? Here’s what infectious disease doctors say

While hospitalizations and the number of COVID-19 cases have improved in recent weeks, some doctors are warning that the pandemic is still not over.

Thousands of new infections are still occurring in Illinois every week, with more than 10,000 reported last week, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

And even those who have had COVID-19 and have recovered are not exempt.

Learn more here.

Can dogs get COVID? What to know about the virus and pets

Can dogs, cats and other pets get COVID-19?

According to Centers for Disaster Control and Preventionit is possible for animals to contract COVID from people, but it is unlikely that animals will transmit the virus to humans.

Most animals infected with the coronavirus had close contact with people with COVID, such as pet owners and caretakers, the CDC said online.

Reports of animals infected with COVID have been documented around the world, particularly in pets, zoo animals, mink on mink farms, and wild whitetail deer in the United States.

Learn more here.

Will you need another booster shot of the COVID vaccine? Chicago’s top doctor speaks

Some Americans are already being encouraged to get a fourth dose of the COVID vaccine, but could such a recommendation happen for the general population?

With COVID measures waning and restrictions easing across the country, some wonder if additional protection will be needed.

Already, immunocompromised people are encouraged to receive a fourth dose according to new guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released last month.

Learn more here.

COVID symptoms in children: What to look for as many vaccines await

With some children still unable to get the COVID-19 vaccine and masks coming off at several schools in Illinois, many parents are wondering what symptoms they should watch out for in children.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children have similar symptoms to adults and, in many cases, have milder illness.

“While children are just as likely to get COVID-19 as adults, children are less likely to get seriously ill,” said the Mayo Clinic Reports. “Up to 50% of children and adolescents can have COVID-19 without symptoms. However, some children with COVID-19 need to be hospitalized, treated in an intensive care unit, or placed on a ventilator to help them breathe.”

Here’s what to look for.