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A look at COVID-19 safety procedures on school buses, as districts prepare for the fall

Richland School District Two gives a break-down of what new safety procedures will look like on the bus when students return.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — With the fall semester of school just weeks away, many parents are wondering what a ride on the school bus will look like amid the coronavirus pandemic.

News19 checked-in with Richland School District Two to see how they're planning.

Will Anderson, their Chief Operations Officer, offered a walk-through starting with when a student arrives to the bus. He said, in following with new state guidance, there will not be a temperature check, but the driver will ask how the student is feeling.

RELATED: A look at school bus safety plans amid virus concerns

Credit: Kayland Hagwood
Richland School District Two school bus

"Make sure you've got your mask on. If they don't have a mask, we'll have disposable masks to give to the student to put a mask on, and we'll have a bottle of sanitizer for the kids to get a squirt," Anderson said. "Then the driver will say, 'Alright, make sure you make your way to your assigned seat."

RELATED: Face masks work, are slowing virus in South Carolina, data shows

RELATED: Richland School District Two hiring bus drivers

The bus will be loaded at a limited capacity with students sitting from the back to the front. The district will try to put one student to a seat, but families can sit together. 

"All the windows in the bus will be down and the air conditioner will be going," Anderson said.

The buses will be disinfected by drivers between routes and then again with electrostatic sprayers. Watch a demonstration of the cleaning process HERE.

RELATED: Electrostatic sprayers to be used at all bus hubs, various schools in the fall

"We're going to be following all of the protocols. Making sure they're clean, wearing their masks and, like we always do, the drivers are going to be prepared for all this and just excited to have your kids back on the bus riding with us," Anderson said.

The buses will remain empty for a little while longer, at least in Richland Two. They plan to start in a virtual capacity and transition to a hybrid model.

You can find more details on their return plan on the district's website.

Today, State Superintendent where she toured the new facility and met with elementary, middle, and high school principals to discuss their plans for reopening. Afterwards, she joined Governor Molly Spearman visited the Anderson Inst... itute of Technology Henry McMaster in announcing $10 million of personal protection equipment purchased by the state of South Carolina for students, teachers, and school staff.

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