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Some CPS Families Forced To Change Labor Day Weekend Plans In Face Of District's COVID-19 Travel Guidance

CHICAGO (CBS) -- New travel guidelines in place for the Chicago Public Schools threw a wrench in Labor Day weekend plans for some students and their families.

One mother who spoke to CBS 2's Asal Rezaei said her family had to change their weekend plans at the last minute, so her kids wouldn't miss any school.

Coming off a holiday weekend, the latest travel guidelines for CPS students were already having an impact on Tuesday.

Jennie Dede, a mother of two boys, said the family got plane tickets for their Labor Day weekend trip months ago.

"We actually were planning to leave town. We had tickets to go to Long Island, and we had to figure out what we were going to do," she said.

On Thursday, just ahead of the holiday weekend, CPS urged families to follow travel recommendations from the Chicago Department of Public Health and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, saying unvaccinated students who traveled out of state for Labor Day should quarantine for seven days when they return, even if they test negative for COVID-19. Students who don't get tested should stay home for at least 10 days.

Vaccinated students who traveled out of state were not required to quarantine or take a COVID test unless they experienced virus symptoms.

Dede said one of her boys is 12 years old, and vaccinated, but her other son is only 11, and not yet eligible for the vaccine. She said, as a parent, it puts her in a tough position.

"I'm sure there's tons of families that took their family out and had to make that call, but I couldn't say to my unvaccinated child, 'We're going to take you to New York, and then you have to sit in class in like  one lie; or two, not go to school for seven days,'" she said.

Dede and her husband went ahead on the trip, but had to leave the boys behind so her younger son wouldn't have to miss school when he got back.

As a family of avid travelers, she said they're definitely concerned about navigating through upcoming holidays.

"We're planning a trip in December. My kid is going to miss seven days of school after that, I know that, and that's a decision we're going to make as a family. I don't know that there's any other option right now," she said.

Dede said, as difficult as it's been dealing with these last-minute decisions, she believes the district is doing what's best for the students and the community.

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