Public Board to Recommend Masks be Worn on School Buses

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Masks could soon be required for all students riding buses in the Greater Essex County District School Board (GECDSB). 

A motion passed at Tuesday night's Board of Trustees meeting recommending the Windsor Essex Student Transportation Services (WESTS) enforce a mandatory mask policy on all buses moving forward.

Trustee Julia Burgess says the recommendation will protect students and drivers, many of which fall into an at risk age group, from COVID-19.

She says drivers she's spoken to support the move.

"Speaking with the folks at WESTS and the operators ... this supports them in their work and I do not underestimate them," she says. "I'm not worried about them delivery the logistics of this at all."

Burgess says physical distancing on a bus is impossible.

"I've heard that it's difficult to keep six meters apart? It's impossible. You can't do it on a bus, so we try our best and what I heard is we probably get three or four feet in between kids at the maximum," she added.

She says wearing a mask on a bus is a simple way to add another layer of safety.

"We've heard from the health unit and from every directive that mask wearing reduces the risk of transmission of this disease, why would we not support that," she says.

The recommendation will go before WESTS' board for consideration at its next regular meeting.