ARKANSAS, USA — Guy Perkins, Cabot, Lonoke, England, Carlisle, Mayflower, Quitman, Southside School Districts, and two Little Rock schools have all closed because of a flu outbreak in the last two weeks.
The closures are meant to give staff time to clean and disinfect the campus — including desks, lockers, bathrooms, door handles, and more.
But Beth Jennings from Beebe wrote in to our Verify team because she’s concerned that flu is still spreading.
She asks: “With all the schools closing due to illness so they can sanitize, do they also sanitize the buses?”
That’s an excellent question. What good is cleaning classrooms if kids are picking up the virus on the bus, then bringing it into the just-cleaned school?
We took Beth’s question to several school districts and got a lot of different answers.
For instance, the Guy Perkins school superintendent said all the buses get the same treatment as the classrooms, but as a small district with few buses, it’s easy to disinfect all of them.
For Cabot, it’s the same deal. Schools and buses get sanitized.
In Pulaski County, the highest number of absences is coming out of the Maumelle area, so the district is using a special disinfecting unit in the school, the transportation areas, and 31 buses that service the Maumelle feeder schools.
We also spoke to Little Rock School District Superintendent Michael Poore about his district’s policy.
“It’s a challenge. We do expect the bus drivers to clean every day, but whether disinfecting and how effective we can be when we’re doing multiple routes — that’s a challenge,” Poore explained. “So what I would tell students and staff, you know, is make sure to wash your hands when you get home. Wash your hands when you go into the school environment.”
So we can verify, the buses do get cleaned, but how they get cleaned differs between districts.
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