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As additional Chesapeake students return to school, bus driver steps up cleaning amid coronavirus pandemic

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Posted at 10:25 PM, Oct 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-12 22:41:39-04

CHESAPEAKE, Va. - There is now an extra step in Leon Coles’s routine as a school bus driver.

“You want to start in the very back of the bus and work your way back towards the front,” said Coles as he sprays down the seats of the school bus.

Drivers are required to disinfect the bus with a solution at least twice a day.

On Monday, October 12, Chesapeake school leaders welcomed back some 4th, 5th and 6th graders for in-person learning.

Coles says, “I sanitize my bus once I’m done with my final run for the morning and for the afternoon.”

Chesapeake Public Schools is doing everything they can to make sure the bus ride to and from school is safe. More than 400 drivers have the FOAM-It solution in their buses.

“We are using a product that is also being used by emergency management team for the city to sanitize ambulances and fire trucks,” said Dr. David Benson.

Benson is the director of student transportation for the division.

He says the biggest challenge this year is social distancing on a bus.

“Going from being able to transport 60-65 kids to only being able to put 24 kids on each bus for spacing reasons,” Dr. Benson adds.

Students also have assigned seats. Benson says, “If there happens to be an issue on the bus with contact tracing, [the assigned seats are] so we can make sure which students were in which seat.”

As of Monday, school leaders say “there haven't been any concentration of [COVID-19] cases on buses.”

Coles says his students do a great job at keeping their masks on.

Along with the disinfectant spray, each driver has a bucket of wipes that they use to wipe down the hand rails as students come on and off the bus.

Coles wants parents to know that bus drivers in the division are doing everything they can to keep students safe.

Related: Another wave of students return to school in Virginia Beach

“Most of us have children of our own in the school system, so we know what we would like for our children, so we are going to do that for your child,” he adds.

Click here for full Back to School coverage.