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Ottawa Student Transport Authority warns that short-term cancellations of school buses are possible when classes resume

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The Ottawa Student Transport Authority warns that school bus trips could be canceled at some point due to COVID-19 when students return to class next week.

Students with the Ottawa District Carleton School Board and the Ottawa Catholic School Board return to class on Monday for the first time since before Christmas. Lessons have been held online since January 5th.

The yellow school bus and van service for kindergarten students up to 12th grade will resume Monday after the break.

However, the organization responsible for all school transport says that “there may be an increase in service interruptions” in relation to short-term and long-term COVID-19.

“We are doing everything we can to get as many services as possible on Monday,” said Ottawa Student Transport Authority general manager Vicky Kyriaco.

“One of the issues we can not control, of course, is whether the drivers will be sick or not and everyone should be isolated along the way. So we hope as much as possible to get out on the day of seen. “

The Ottawa Student Transport Authority says drivers may be forced to isolate themselves because of COVID-19, which means short-term cancellations can occur every day.

“Depending on the circumstances, some roads may return to normal within a day or two, while others may be canceled for a longer period of time,” OSTA said.

All short-term cancellations will be posted to OSTA delay and cancellation page. Any long-term cancellations will be posted at OCDSB AND OCSB cancellation lists.

Kyriaco says the Ottawa Student Transport Authority is also dealing with a driver shortage that has plagued the system since the beginning of the school year.

“We still have a driver shortage. We are still working to find a solution,” Kyriaco said in an interview with CTV Morning Live.

“We have had some drivers, new drivers have been hired and we are continuing to work with operators to help them recruit and get the word out that we still need drivers.”

Approximately 85 percent of school bus drivers are fully vaccinated. Unvaccinated drivers should undergo rapid antigen testing twice a week.

TIPS FOR PARENTS

The Ottawa Student Transport Authority asks parents and guardians to assess their child’s health before boarding the bus.

“If your child has symptoms of COVID-19, do not put him on the bus / van or leave him at school,” said OSTA.

Kyriaco says there is still a seating plan for all school buses, with students assigned a seat.

“It’s really important that parents remind their children to sit in their seat.

All students must wear a mask on the bus. Drivers were provided with personal protective equipment, including inappropriately tested N95 masks or medical masks, face shields, goggles and rapid antigen tests.

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