Warwick buses delayed Tuesday

By ALEX MALM
Posted 10/12/21

Parents and guardians in Warwick were notified Tuesday morning that buses could be delayed at least 15 minutes on Tuesday morning and afternoon. 

“First Student will be combining some …

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Warwick buses delayed Tuesday

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Parents and guardians in Warwick were notified Tuesday morning that buses could be delayed at least 15 minutes on Tuesday morning and afternoon. 

“First Student will be combining some routes in order to accommodate all students,” the email stated. 

The delay comes a day after bus drivers were notified that two people who attended their union meeting on Oct.7 have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and were at the meeting while contagious, according to a letter obtained by the Warwick Beacon.

“The Rhode Island Department of Health strongly encourages all employees who were present at this meeting to get tested for COVID-19. Testing is encouraged even if you are fully vaccinated,” the letter stated.

“First Student is doing a good job to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” the letter goes on to say. “However, variants which spread more easily are in Rhode Island and case rates have been going up since March. RIDOH is encouraging more testing as an important way to help keep students and staff safe.”

Frank McMahon, a  spokesperson First Student Tuesday afternoon stated "First Student was notified by two of its Warwick employees that they were COVID positive and had attended a non-First Student event that was held on October 7th. Pursuant to its COVID protocol and following RIDOH guidance, First Student contacted all of its Warwick-based employees and encouraged them to get tested. "

"To avoid wide-scale disruption to school bus transportation for Warwick families while some drivers are out on sick leave and PTO, First Student has been working very closely with the Warwick School Department to ensure it has enough drivers and aides available to service the bus routes," McMahon said. "While school bus driver shortages have already been a significant challenge throughout the pandemic, First Student will continue to support its employees and coordinate with the school district to provide safe, reliable transportation."

Superintendent Lynn Dambruch, said that nine drivers were out on Tuesday, which impacted 37 runs and 834 students. 

Because First Student is a separate entity from the School Department Damburch said that they would be working with RIDOH to do contact tracing and determine if any students were close contacts with those who may have been contagious. 

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