Schools Relax Bus Masking Guidelines Per CDC Recommendations

Monday was the first day masks weren’t required for school bus drivers or students on board.

It comes after the CDC relaxed that guideline Friday.

Pic0 3“When I got the email on Friday evening, I sent it to our transportation director,” said Morley Stanwood Community Schools Superintendent Roger Cole. “I said, ‘Hey share this out with your drivers,’ and she says, ‘Is this real?’.”

Morley Stanwood students and bus drivers were no longer required to wear masks on the bus on Monday.

It’s the first day masks haven’t been required for school buses in months.

“When the mask rules were relaxed in general, we had parents and kids saying we don’t have to wear them anymore,” said Cole. ” I said well, that doesn’t apply to transportation.”

Cole said bus drivers were especially excited about the change.

“You think of winter driving and snow and ice or deer and other traffic, you really got to want your driver focused,” he said. “We want the driver watching the road, we don’t want them looking at the mirror and what’s going on behind them, and so policing it is difficult.”

Cole stated the district spent around $8,000 on masks to give to students if they don’t have one to get on the bus.

He said having this guideline relaxed means a step to normalcy.

“I’m going out on a limb and say I think that’s more important than maybe the people who make the rules realize,” Cole said.

The CDC said schools that fall in the low or medium community level of COVID-19 cases don’t have to require masks on buses.

But it’s not a permanent change.

Masks could be required on school buses if cases rise again.

“It was very purposeful that [the community level] was attached to have the conversation so people understand —should your community level of spread or infection rate change, that rule could come back,” said Cole.

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