Westfield Washington is short of bus drivers after 4 staffers test positive for COVID-19

Four employees of the transportation department at Westfield Washington Schools tested positive for COVID-19, the district said Tuesday.

In an email to families, the district said those who tested positive as well as anyone considered a close contact are self-isolating.

As a result, the district said in the email that it will have a bus driver shortage ahead of the first day on Aug. 13.

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Roughly 88% of the district’s roughly 8,400 students opted to attend in-person, per the district. However, all students are on a hybrid schedule where only half of the student population are in schools at any one time. Westfield Washington also offered a fully virtual option to students.

To adjust for the lack of drivers, some routes will be doubled up meaning drivers will do their assigned routes, clean the buses, and then do an additional route, the district said in its email. Families who will be on a second route will be notified by the transportation department and students who are late will not be marked as such.

Like other districts, Westfield Washington Schools included bus protocols in its reopening plan including required masks and assigned seats. Buses will be cleaned and disinfected after each route.

The staff members who are quarantining will not return to work until they’ve met the required criteria set health officials, the district email said. That includes isolating at home and being symptom-free.

This story will be updated.

Call IndyStar education reporter MJ Slaby at 317-447-1586 or email her at mslaby@gannett.com. Follow her on Twitter: @mjslaby.