SC school buses will be disinfected with electrostatic sprayers

Bus drivers will wipe down high-touch surfaces frequently
Updated: Aug. 6, 2020 at 9:58 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Masks will be required on South Carolina school buses this year and they’ll be capped at 67% capacity.

These are just some of the steps state education officials said they’re taking to keep your child safe on their way to and from school. Thursday morning, we got a look at how school buses will be cleaned this fall.

School districts will be using electrostatic sprayers twice a day to disinfect each school bus. Some school districts already have their own.

“Each district will assign staff members who will be trained and responsible for all of this,” said Mike Bullman, the director of maintenance for the state Department of Education.

Staff will spray the inside of the buses before afternoon pickups and once again in the evening so it’s ready first thing in the morning.

According to Bullman, the battery-powered sprayers positively charges the cleaning solution as it turns it into a mist. When it’s sprayed, it’s atomized. The solution is then attracted to the negatively charged surfaces of the bus.

“It’ll get in all those nooks and crannies and locations so you don’t have to be deliberate with spraying. It will be physically attracted to those areas,” he said.

The state Department of Education put in orders for these sprayers two and a half months ago, Bullman said. They began receiving some this week.

School bus drivers will wipe down high-touch surfaces like handrails and bus seats throughout the day with the cleaning solution.

There will be ventilation changes as well.

“In units with air conditioning, there will be at least four windows down on each side at four inches and both roof hatches will be set to the vent position,” Bullman said.

Bullman said the state’s fleet has a little more than 5,000 buses.

Officials are encouraging parents to drive their kids to school if it’s possible.

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