Iowa district doesn’t have enough bus drivers to take kids to school, cancels classes

The Davenport Community School District in Iowa does not have enough bus drivers to get students to school, prompting the district to cancel classes on Monday.

The school district informed parents of the cancellation of classes due to a shortage of bus drivers early Monday. Trinity Lutheran School and the state’s All Saints Catholic Schools also announced that classes were canceled on Monday due to the shortage.

“A large number of bus drivers made themselves sick this morning from issues related to COVID-19. Too many to adjust routes at short notice,” the school district wrote in a Facebook post on Monday. “This afternoon, the transport team will have a plan for tomorrow. Thank you for your patience as we deal with this staff health issue.”

As of January 2, the average daily number of COVID cases in the state was 1,649, according to The New York Times. The Iowa Department of Public Health COVID dashboard reported 768 hospital patients for COVID, as well as 17,773 positive COVID tests in the past 7 days. The state has also recorded a total of 59 confirmed deaths in the past seven days.

In a Facebook post, the health department said COVID infections were on the rise “due to the highly contagious Omicron variant.”

“All eligible Iowans should be vaccinated and given a booster to prevent serious illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. Of those hospitalized in intensive care with COVID-19, 83% are unvaccinated,” The health department wrote in the Facebook post.

There are currently 163 COVID patients in intensive care as of January 2, according to the health department’s COVID dashboard.

Last week, the state reported more than 11,000 cases of COVID, which is the second highest number of infections reported since the end of September, according to The Monks Register.

The Davenport Community School District in Iowa does not have enough bus drivers to get students to school, prompting the district to cancel classes on Monday. Above, around 100 school buses are parked at the Arlington County Bus Depot, in response to the new coronavirus and COVID-19 outbreak on March 31, 2020, in Arlington, Virginia.
Getty Images / OLIVIER DOULIERY / AFP

A person who answered the phone on Monday at Durham School Services in Davenport, which provides school bus service to districts, asked Ed Flavin, a Durham media spokesperson, questions.

Flavin blamed “various reasons,” including absences due to COVID-19 infections and quarantine following exposures. The company expected all of its routes to be covered on Tuesday and for the rest of the week, he said.

“The safety of our passengers and employees is our number one priority, and we want to make sure that, especially in these cold winter months, we arrive on time at our scheduled stops,” Flavin said in a report. -mail to the Associated Press. “Today we didn’t think it could be accomplished.”

Students were to return to school on Monday after a two-week break.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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