COVID-19 rules loosened, but not lifted


Matt Petres

Mark Krewatch hands out optional COVID-19 tests to his advisory.

Amy Ren, Assistant Editor

No masks, no sitting on dots, no weekly spitting in tubes. The fourth school year affected by COVID-19 is vastly different from the previous three, and although restrictions have been relaxed, the pandemic is not over.
In an Aug. 26 email, lead nurse Kristen Szewczyk announced a handful of key changes to COVID-19 mitigation strategies, instructions on COVID-19 testing and upcoming coronavirus vaccination clinics.
For the start of the school year, masks continue to be optional at Lab, but they are recommended in indoor settings when others are present because Chicago’s coronavirus risk is currently rated medium, according to the city of Chicago’s official website. Additionally, unvaccinated close contacts are no longer required to quarantine. Instead of the test-to-stay program, all individuals who have been exposed to COVID-19 should get tested on the sixth day after exposure and wear a well-fitted mask for 10 full days after exposure. Lastly, students are no longer required to socially distance.
Take-home SHIELD tests will be available to the entire Lab community year-round. Students will be sent home with test kits the first week of school and will be replenished when needed. Individuals testing will submit a saliva sample on arrival on Tuesdays starting Sep. 13, and s​​amples for optional tests must be collected at home, before coming to school.
Four clinics will be available in October to deliver both flu and COVID-19 vaccinations for students and their families. There will be clinics Oct. 4 and 18 at the Historic Campus 3-5:15 p.m. and Oct. 11 and 25 at Earl Shapiro Hall 1-5:15 p.m.
Updates to Lab’s COVID-19 mitigation policies will be on the parent and student portals of the school website.