CHICAGO (CBS) -- Chicago Public Schools will allow athletics programs to begin practice on Monday, nearly four months after school sports were shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The district announced Thursday that schools can begin summer sports programming on Monday "for the potential return of high school sports in the fall."
The majority of summer sports practices will have to be outdoors, with a limited number of indoor activities that aren't available outdoors, such as swimming pools.
Parents and guardians also must sign a permission form and an updated contact information form before students can participate in summer sports activities. Parents and other spectators will not be allowed to attend summer activities.
Schools must follow CPS health protocols including mandatory daily temperature checks; symptom screenings for students and staff; practicing in fixed groups with a limited amount of people throughout the entire summer; regular cleaning and disinfecting throughout the day; hand washing before all activities and throughout the day; observing social distancing; and required face coverings for students and coaches when social distancing isn't possible.
CPS will provide at least two masks for each student and coach, and also will inform schools of the proper protocols if someone tests positive for COVID-19.
"We are committed to supporting our students' athletic talents and interests, and we recognize sports serve as a valuable opportunity for students to engage as a team and learn important life skills. However, we must take extra precautions once our athletic programs resume, because keeping our students and staff safe and healthy is our highest priority," CPS officials said in a statement.
The district has yet to announce its plans for resuming classes in the fall. CPS and Mayor Lori Lightfoot both said Thursday they expect to release those plans soon.
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