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School Bus COVID-19 Safety Procedures

  • Safety of your students and our staff are the highest priority for providing school bus service to and from school. With that in mind, the following procedures and recommendations are based on guidance from the South Carolina Department of Education (SCDE) and Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC).

    • Social Distancing and Capacity
      • Number of students on a bus should be maximum of 67% of design capacity
      • No more than two (2) students on a seat; one (1) per seat to the extent possible
      • Three (3) students on a seat should not occur
      • Assigned seats will be mandatory for consistency, to maintain as much distance as possible between students, and allow household members to sit together
      • Loading of the bus will be from back-to-front to the extent possible
      • Students should maintain minimum of 6-foot spacing while waiting at bus stops
      • Students should not board the bus if sick or exhibiting signs of illness.
      • Non-compliance with seat assignments and instances of bus misconduct will not be tolerated and will result in loss of bus privileges if not immediately corrected
      • Computers and tablets must remain in backpacks

    • Cleaning and Disinfection
      • Each bus will be cleaned then disinfected using electrostatic sprayer and EPA-approved disinfectant twice per day after completion of morning and afternoon routes
      • Disinfectant is EPA-approved for use against the COVID-19 virus
      • Drivers will ensure frequently touched surfaces by passengers and drivers are wiped down with EPA-approved disinfectant, diluted bleach solution, or alcohol solution with at least 70% alcohol between all school deliveries and drop offs

    • Ventilation
      • To increase air exchange on the bus, drivers will open roof vents and some windows, as weather allows
      • This will also apply to buses with air conditioning—A/C will be used to provide as much cooling as possible, but ventilation steps will also be followed

    • Personal Prevention Practices
      • Drivers will wear face masks or cloth face coverings to the extent possible, not to override safely driving the school bus
      • Face coverings for students will be in accordance with Dorchester District Two policy for use on school property

    References. DHEC COVID-19 webpage:


    What Bus Transit Operators Need to Know About COVID-19 (CDC)

    School Bus Seat Arrangement—Example

    • Permanent seat assignments mandatory without exception
    • Two (2) seats behind driver designated to remain empty*
    • Double occupancy seats will be filled by siblings/same households first
    • Applies to all school levels—elementary, middle and high—regardless of design capacity

    COVID-19 Bus Illustration

    * May be used at driver discretion

      based on circumstances