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A look at school bus safety plans amid virus concerns

School districts will be taking extra precautions on school buses as students return to school amid coronavirus concerns.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina schools will be taking a number of steps to keep children safe as they return to school amid concerns about COVID-19. S.C. Department of Education (SCDE) officials say those precautions start in the morning and end in the afternoon when students ride the bus to and from school. Here's a look at what you can expect on school buses as your children return to school. 

The S.C. Department of Education is requiring all South Carolina public school buses to be disinfected after each ride. Additionally, buses must operate at 50% capacity or lower, and both students and drivers must wear masks on the buses. 

RELATED: SC buses will operate at 50% capacity, masks will be required, officials say

State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman approved twenty fiv... e school district reopening plans today. This brings the total number of approved plans to thirty one. "School district leaders, working alongside their local communities, continue to put forward high quality options for parents that take into account the academic and social needs of students along with the safety precautions and protocols required in the current pandemic environment," said State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman.

Some school districts that are offering in-person instruction at the start of the school year say they are taking additional measures.

Kershaw County School District (KCSD) says they are waiting on final survey results from parents to see if they’ll need to double up on bus routes, but it won’t be likely. District officials say students will have their temperatures checked by bus assistants when loading the buses each morning.

Credit: Kershaw County School District

“We will have isolation seats - the first row of seats – so that if there is a student, when we check his or her temperature, that has a fever and there’s no one at home, we would put the child in an isolation seat, and then as soon as they got to school they’d report to an isolation room and then we’d work to contact family.”

RELATED: Kershaw County school district hiring bus drivers, cafeteria workers

Lexington School District Two officials say they'll release final transportation plans once they get final numbers on how many students will attend school in person. The district, however, is encouraging parents to drive their kids to school if they can.

Lexington School District Three says they are asking parents to fill out a Transportation Request Form by August 6. All students will have an assigned seat on the bus, and buses will operate at 46% capacity, with one person per seat. Students from the same household may sit together.

RELATED: Indiana student tests positive for COVID-19 on the first day back to school

Lexington-Richland School District Five says they will operate buses at 47% capacity and disinfect high-use areas between routes.

News 19 reached out Lexington County School District One and Lexington School District Four to ask about their school bus safety plans but have not yet heard back from either district.

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