Beaufort Co. School District discusses COVID-19 safety protocols for school buses

Beaufort Co. School District discusses COVID-19 safety protocols for school buses

BEAUFORT COUNTY, S.C. (WTOC) - Many people have concerns when it comes to COVID-19 in the work place, including school bus drivers.

The Beaufort County School District employs more than 100 drivers.

“We treat our buses just like our classrooms so a lot of the same precautions we have in the classrooms we have in the buses,” said Chief Operations Officer Robert Oetting.

Bus drivers in Beaufort County have guidelines to try and stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic

“We have certain protocols that district has put in place,” said bus driver Maurice Brown.

“There’s also a plexiglass shield behind the driver, on top of that, probably the most important thing, everyone needs to wear masks.”

Another safety measure - bus capacity. It has been cut to 67 percent. Also children are not allowed to sit in the seat directly behind the bus driver.

But drivers still see a lot of students.

The school district says every single bus driver could have 100 to 150 students passing them every single day. And some bus drivers wonder if the guidelines are enough.

“They are concerned because, you know, a lot of them have ailments, underlying ailments, or their family has ailments so that’s a primary concern is are they safe,” said supervisor Jerry Green.

Temperature screenings for students do not take place until they arrive in the building.

“I know that they do the temperature checks and everything at the school but, you know, me as a bus drive, we are the first ones that see them or greet them in the mornings.”

Bus drivers we spoke to say they wish there was a way to make sure they were staying safe before students got on the buses.

“I think we can be more and have more inclusion with the buses. A little bit more I think we could, you know, try a little bit more.”

According to the Beaufort County school District COVID-19 tracker, zero cases have been reported in the transportation unit of the district.

Copyright 2021 WTOC. All rights reserved.