Campbell County Public Schools (CCPS) were short 15 bus drivers this week. CCPS Director of Operations Tim Hoden said some drivers were unable to drive because of COVID-19, but that the temporary absences happened “For various reasons, not all COVID-related.”

As a result of the absences, many drivers had to take on extra routes to ensure all students had rides to school. Hoden was quick to praise CCPS drivers for their efforts.

“They did extra runs, whatever it took to get the children to school, which is the end goal,” Hoden said.

The lack of drivers led to some scheduling difficulties.

“When we’re doing double runs sometimes I can’t guarantee the window of pick up times,” Hoden said.

Hoden said fewer students are allowed on buses because of social distancing rules, and as a result, greater numbers of parents have been driving their children to school this year. He also said that limited numbers of bus drivers has been a problem for school systems across the nation for some time.

Hoden said he anticipates drivers who were out will start returning during the next couple of weeks.

“I’m very proud of the way our drivers have handled this and worked through this, and their resiliency and understanding the importance of getting kids to school,” Hoden said.

He also encouraged parents to make sure their children are wearing masks and appropriately distancing themselves from others on school buses, in school buildings and in public, and to keep children with symptoms of COVID-19 at home.

“That’s something huge that everybody needs to be reminded of,” Hoden said.