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Athens Schools Closed Due To COVID Cases Among Bus Drivers

School bus

Most of Ohio’s K-12 schools have only been in class for a few days but already, there are signs COVID-19 might be causing problems for some of them.
Students in the Athens City School District have closed this week due to COVD cases and quarantining among bus its bus drivers. Athens Superintendent Tom Gibbs said the district relies on 18 bus drivers, but doesn't have enough drivers to operate.

“We now have five drivers that have tested positive for COVID and we have a sixth that is a close contact and is in quarantine," Gibbs says.

Gibbs said he didn’t have any choice but to close schools this week to give the drivers time to recover.

Some other school districts throughout the state are also closing for a while due to COVID. Still, others are dealing with high absentee rates from teachers and students.
Athens City Schools require students to wear masks in the building and on buses. But some school districts don’t have that policy in place.

Last spring, the statewide mask policy was in place for schools until the end of the school year. But Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said there’s no appetite for a statewide policy like that now so it’s up to school districts to decide whether to require masks be worn inside school buildings.

Some districts that began the year without requiring masks have changed their policies in recent days to require masks be worn, at least temporarily, while the COVID spread poses a problem.

On Tuesday, Licking Valley High School in Licking County was forced to go to temporarily transition to remote learning with over students are in quarantine after exposure to COVID-19. The school will be in remote learning until September 10.

Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.