KING WILLIAM Co., Va. (WWBT) - Despite King William County Schools being closed Thursday, bus drivers and school administrators were still at school working to disinfect all surfaces in buildings and buses.
On Wednesday, the school system announced it would be closed Thursday and Friday due to a high number of confirmed and suspected flu cases within the division.
“School staff will be thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting all surfaces throughout all of our buildings and buses over the next two days,” said Superintendent David White in a Facebook post. “Our hope is to give any infected persons the opportunity to get well so that we do not re-contaminate our facilities. These actions are being taken out of an abundance of caution and to safeguard the health and well-being of all of our students and staff.”
Bus drivers, school employees, parents and even White himself gathered at King William High School Thursday morning to tackle the enclosed quarters of the division’s 47 buses.
"The steering wheel, the gear shift, pull open, any of that kind of stuff - wipe it down good because it might have that residue on it," said KWCS Transportation Specialist Lisa Zicafoose.
According to Superintendent White, on Wednesday nearly 300 students were absent from King William County schools; of that number, nearly 200 had confirmed or suspected cases of the flu.
"We thought we'd get ahead of it,” White said. “We decided to shut down the schools for two days. We're cleaning every surface throughout the school and our buses to make sure that the students return to a safe and clean environment."
"[I] asked them if they wanted to spend a wonderful day in the rain cleaning the buses and getting everything prepared for Monday and we had an awesome turnout," Zicafoose said.
However, the process actually started Wednesday night, with a disinfectant spray placed in all the buses.
"It will do a 4,000 square foot house,” one bus maintenance man said. “We set them off last night at 8:30. So they had all night to sit in here and do their thing."
From there, crews wiped down the buses from the ceiling to the seats and even swept the floors; all in an effort to eliminate any germs festering on board.
"We actually had some bus drivers who were showing symptoms and kids, so we wanted to make sure every surface throughout the division we could clean," White said.
While the closure of the schools has left some families making alternative plans, school administrators are thankful for the support from the community.
“These women and men are wonderful,” Zicafoose said. “They step up and will do everything in their power to keep this community the way it needs to be.”
"Seeing parents coming in and dropping off product for our buses just to make sure they stay clean was wonderful,” White added. “I couldn't thank them enough."
The schools are expected to be cleaned and disinfected over the next few days. The goal is to have all the students back in their classrooms on Monday.
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