Students who attend Lancaster County Schools are required to wear a face mask when riding the bus this fall. The district laid out its transportation safety plan for the 2020-2021 school year on Tuesday citing safety as the top priority.
Among the reasons, school leaders said bus drivers are the most high-risk group of employees in the district in regards to age and pre-existing medical conditions. Lancaster County school leaders worry there could be major transportation issues if multiple drivers contract Covid-19.
Officials also cited spacing issues on a bus as a potential problem. Even after reducing capacity, leaders say students and the driver would be in what would essentially end up being a 300 square foot room.
Due to safety reasons, officials won't have the ability to screen students prior to riding the bus. Officials stressed they want drivers to concentrate on driving safely and not conducting health screenings, especially when stopped on busy roads.
In addition to required masks, Lancaster County Schools plan to reduce capacity on buses and heighten cleaning protocols on the bus fleet.
The transportation safety plan was unveiled as other school districts in South Carolina announced plans to safely get kids back in the classroom this fall.
Masks will be required inside the classroom for all students in the Fort Mill School District. School leaders are also taking other precautions like adding Plexiglass barriers to elementary classrooms where it is harder for kids to socially distance.
In Rock Hill, school leaders approved a plan will include an in-person alternating schedule, in which half of the students come to school in-person one day, the other half the next day. Full plans are expected to be released soon.