Masks Now Mandatory on All School Buses

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Effective immediately, all students who ride a school bus in Windsor-Essex must wear a mask.

Previously, students in Junior Kindergarten to Grade 3 were exempt from the rule, but that is no longer the case.

General Manager of Windsor Essex Transportation Services (WESTS) Gabrielle McMillian tells AM800 News the only ones exempt are those with medical exceptions that have been approved by their school.

"That's taking effect immediately but we will not be enforcing it, we’ll give people an opportunity to remember to put the mask on their little one, so it won't be fully enforced until the beginning of the school year in January."

When it comes to enforcement, McMillian says they will work with students and families.

"If they come to the bus in the morning and they don't have their mask, if the driver has enough supply he will give them a mask or she will give them a mask," she says. "But if they repeatedly forget to do it or if they're on the bus and take their mask off or refuse to wear it on the bus, they will get a letter of warning saying if you continue to do that you won't be able to use the bus."

McMillian says the WESTS board started looking at the idea when it was presented to them by the Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board.

"And then Trustee Burgess put it forward at the Great Essex board, the Conseil Scolaire Viamonde, which is the French public board, their board had approved that  all students JK to Grade 12 wear a mask, so three of the four boards had either done it or had motions from their boards to have us consider doing it," she says.

All four school boards in Windsor-Essex are affected by the change and will begin communicating details about it to their school communities.