CPS CEO defends changes to COVID tracker: 'there was no ill intent at all'

Spread of coronaviruses at school
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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Chicago Public Schools officials are defending changes made to their COVID-19 tracking system.

When it comes to the new way of reporting COVID cases, CPS CEO Pedro Martinez said, "there was no ill intent at all."

The district came under fire when it switched how it reports school-level COVID-19 cases after winter break.

Instead of reporting all potential coronavirus cases, the district's COVID tracker now only shows closed cases, meaning they’ve been confirmed by contact tracers.

CPS didn’t announce the change publicly, and Martinez acknowledged it caused confusion among parents.

“I think the goal was can we just try to make sure we have more accurate data, but I think the unintended consequence was, well, the answer’s not [let's] close off so much of the information,” Martinez said. “For me, the number one question is what does a parent need to know about their school and about cases? And right now the most accurate data we have is our weekly testing.”

Martinez added he didn’t “fully appreciate the complexities” of the district’s data reporting system, and said CPS is looking into sharing open COVID-19 cases at the school level again, but did not say when that would happen.

If implemented, the data would be separated by self-reported cases, isolated cases that came in over the weekend, or cases when school wasn’t in session.