The Illinois Department of Public Health has announced that they will be sharing data on COVID-19 outbreaks in schools. This comes after a story by ProPublica Illinois and the Chicago Tribune detailing the lack of information.

From the start of the pandemic, the Illinois Federation of Teachers has been calling on the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Illinois State Board of Education to provide transparent and accurate data on COVID-19 cases in schools. As COVID-19 cases surge in Illinois, having comprehensive state and local data to ensure the safety of our educators, staff and students is imperative.

At the IFT, we’ve worked with the Chicago Teachers Union and American Federation of Teachers to develop our own COVID-19 tracker to identify outbreaks and report unsafe working conditions in schools, colleges and universities. Our tool will give teachers, staff and parents a voice to monitor what’s happening in their neighborhood schools and help keep them safe. Having timely and accurate information is essential to stopping the spread of COVID-19 and preventing large-scale outbreaks.

We are glad the IDPH is taking steps to ensure transparency and look forward to working with them so that the most accurate information is available.

Dan Montgomery

President

Illinois Federation of Teachers

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