Lack of bus drivers forces Ohio school district to cancel classes

WILMINGTON, Ohio – A southwestern Ohio school district was forced to cancel classes on Tuesday because many of its bus drivers were released with the coronavirus or other illnesses.

Mindy McCarty-Stewart, superintendent of schools for the city of Wilmington, told Fox 19 that the district was unable to find enough replacement drivers to fill the vacancies. The district transports approximately 1,500 students per day. The decision to cancel classes was not announced until 6 a.m. on Tuesday, according to reports.

“Wilmington has a very dedicated and loyal transportation service that cares deeply about the safety and education of our students,” McCarty-Stewart told Fox 19. “However, due to a shortage of bus drivers across the state, we struggle to have enough back-up drivers when we have multiple absences.

WCPO Channel 9 reports that drivers and students are required to wear masks on buses. Each bus is disinfected weekly and drivers can use a disinfectant spray between routes, reports WCPO.

The district says it is working on a plan to keep classes open in case it faces a shortage of bus drivers again.

According to the Ohio Department of Health, schools in Wilmington currently have eight staff members and 36 students who have tested positive for the coronavirus. Wilmington is located in southwestern Ohio, northeast of Cincinnati.

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