SCS experiencing driver shortages in South Stanly area due to Covid-19

Published 1:37 pm Thursday, August 26, 2021

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Stanly County Schools Superintendent Dr. Jarrod Dennis confirmed on Thursday morning that the South Stanly area is without several bus drivers due to COVID exposures.

Dennis said the area has around six drivers, well below the roughly 12 to 15 needed to transport students to and from school. He is not aware of any other areas that have driver shortages.

He said there were enough drivers when the week began on Monday, but the situation has changed as several drivers recently tested positive for COVID-19.

“We’re hoping in the coming week or so, that we will be back to having enough drivers to be able to have normal routes again,” Dennis said.

Dennis said the district is looking into the possibility of having buses run double routes to make sure all students are accounted for. He was set to meet with several of his central office staff later Thursday to come up with some sort of short-term solution.

The school system is also trying to recruit new drivers but is struggling to find people who want to drive buses.

After communicating with nearby counties, Dennis said districts like Charlotte-Mecklenburg and Union are struggling with driver shortages.

Dennis also acknowledged that while he was aware of some students testing positive for COVID-19, he is not aware of anyone contracting the virus while inside the schools.

“The transmission is coming from outside the schools,” he said.

With students under the age of 12 still not eligible to get vaccinated and with cases surging throughout Stanly, Dennis said it was not a surprise that some kids have already tested positive. There have been numerous reports of students testing positive in several neighboring districts, including Union and Rowan.

There have been more than 243 confirmed pediatric COVID-19 cases in Stanly since the beginning of July, according to data from the health department. These account for almost 20 percent of the more than 1,286 total confirmed cases during that time.

About Chris Miller

Chris Miller has been with the SNAP since January 2019. He is a graduate of NC State and received his Master's in Journalism from the University of Maryland. He previously wrote for the Capital News Service in Annapolis, where many of his stories on immigration and culture were published in national papers via the AP wire.

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