Seattle's Child

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bus and car pool safety

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How kids can stay COVID-safe in car pools and on the bus

CDC offers tips on best practices for school transportation.

Bus and car pool safety: School is back in session again for Seattle Public Schools students opting to attend in-person classes. 

Transportation isn’t being offered to SPS students except for children with IEP or 504 accommodations that require transportation, or students experiencing homelessness or in foster care. 

That leaves many families who live too far from school to walk scrambling for transportation, relying on city transit or on informal car pools with other families.

To stay as COVID-safe as possible in a car pool, here’s what’s recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  • Everyone in the vehicle should wear a mask covering nose and mouth.
  • Keep fresh air moving through open windows (or through vents set to not recirculate air).
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces, and keep hands clean.
  • Limit the number of people in the vehicle, and ride with the same people.
  • Stay 6 feet apart while waiting for your ride.
  • Also, as always, cover any coughs and sneezes.
  • Don’t eat or drink while in the vehicle.

If your child is taking a city bus, here’s what’s advised by CDC to stay as safe as possible from coronavirus. (These tips also work for students taking a school bus or other transit.)

  • Wear a mask, as required now on all U.S. transit and in all transportation stations and bus hubs.
  • Practice physical distancing when possible (at least 6 feet apart).
  • Avoid gathering in a group, and leave rows empty between you and other if you can.
  • Look for distancing guides provided, such as floor decals.
  • Use touchless payment.
  •  Avoid touching surfaces, and sanitize your hands (or wash with soap and water) as soon as you can once you leave the bus, Wash hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds as soon as possible.
  • Don’t eat or drink while on transit.

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About the Author

Jillian O'Connor

Jillian O’Connor is managing editor of the Seattle's Child print magazine. She lives in Seattle with her husband, two sons and a dog named after the Loch Ness Monster.