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COVID causes bus problems, other issues for local schools

Published: Sep. 2, 2021 at 10:52 AM EDT
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EVANS, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - With the virus now striking kids, more schools across the two-state region are dealing with high absences of employees and students.

In that category is the Columbia County School System, which is dealing with some transportation issues due to COVID.

Earlier this week, parents got an email telling them to expect bus delays up to an hour.

School district officials say 40 bus drivers are out right now, most with COVID-related absences.

Officials say more than 60 staff members tested positive for COVID last week.

We asked about substitute teachers, and district officials told us they are always looking to hire more substitutes.

Elsewhere in the CSRA

While some districts are going virtual, some are ready for students to return to classrooms after switching to home learning a couple of weeks ago.

Glascock County students are set to return to classrooms Tuesday. The district switched to virtual learning the second week of August. School leaders say they have seen a promising decline in cases. Masks are encouraged for returning students and teachers.

But going virtual starting Thursday is Merriweather Middle School in Edgefield County.

School districts in McCormick and Bamberg counties as well as Williston have transitioned to home learning for at least the rest of this week.

The Allendale County school district is also following a virtual learning model through Sept. 8.

And the Richmond County School System said it will transition all schools to home learning for two days after the Labor Day holiday.

Not going virtual yet is the Aiken County school district — despite the fact that more than 4,000 students are in quarantine for COVID. That’s the highest number in quarantine we’ve seen so far this year from any county in our area.

Some parents are calling on leaders to act after the district released these new numbers.

We asked county education officials if a mask mandate is something on the table. They told us no.

That’s because a stipulation in the state budget bans school districts from enacting mask mandates.

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