School bus drivers prepare for coming school year with COVID-19 precautions

School bus drivers prepare for coming school year with COVID-19 precautions

CLINTON, Miss. (WLBT) - School buses will return to the streets next week as some students head back to class.

Transportation director Donny Gray explained the new seating rules for Clinton Public School buses. Before the coronavirus outbreak, each bus would hold 40 to 60 kids. But now, up to 24 kids will be allowed on each bus.

“There’s normally up to 3 to a seat. Smaller kids, it’s 3 to a seat. And that would allow one on a seat. Everybody will have their own seat,” said Gray.

He said children must wear a mask before getting on the bus, or the driver will hand them one. After quickly sanitizing, they will walk toward the back of the bus and sit by the tape.

Windows will also be cracked open to allow the air to circulate.

“We are expecting the parents to do their due diligence and are making sure that they do the check with them. The checkup to make sure they have no symptoms coming on the bus,” said Gray.

If a bus route has more than 24 children, Gray said the department will make changes.

“I can add more routes in there. That’s the way I’m gonna do it. I’m going to add routes where the number is 24 in order to to absorb the difference,” said Gray.

He said the buses will be cleaned four times a day by the drivers and third-party cleaners. He expects at least 90 percent of his drivers to come back to work.

For this plan to truly work, Gray hopes parents will teach their kids proper safety rules.

“We are in this together and we want them to be safe... That way they know already -- they understand the rules and explain it to them before they get on the bus,” said Gray.

The first bus ride will start August 13th.

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