WESTFALL TOWNSHIP, PIKE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Classes were canceled for 4,400 students on Tuesday due to a COVID outbreak among bus drivers.
Seven schools in the Delaware Valley School District closed early Tuesday morning after a bus contractor could not get enough drivers.
“I just never thought that would happen, or that they would cancel school because of it. I thought maybe, like oh well, the kids that drive in something can come in. That’s crazy that there is no school,” said Amaya Christie, Delaware Valley Middle School student.
The district has 60 buses and vans, some of which they operate personally. The bulk, however, is operated by Rohrer Buses, the busing contractor for the district which has the COVID outbreak.
“Unfortunately, a lot of our drivers have been hit. They have either tested positive for COVID, or they are showing symptoms, or they are in close contact of somebody else. And even the subs for the regular drivers are starting to get ill. So we ran out of substitutes as well,” explained Superintendent Dr. John Bell, Delaware Valley School District.
The plan was to adapt and be flexible and have school buses make multiple runs. But, early Tuesday morning it became evident that would be an impossibility.
“About a quarter to five this morning I got the call, another five people from transportation were down for the count. Either positive, symptomatic, or close contact. So with another five drivers out, there is no way we could make it work,” said Dr. Bell.
Even though Amaya’s grandfather made the half-hour drive to bring her to her school, which was closed, he agrees with the district’s decision.
“Most kids take the bus, so, I could understand if there are not enough bus drivers, close the schools just to be safe I guess,” said Al Alexander, whose granddaughter attends Delaware Valley Middle School.
The district has called Tuesday a snow day.
Eyewitness News was told a decision should be made Tuesday afternoon, as to how the district will move forward.