If your school or ministry operates buses or vans to transport students or attendees, you’ll need a plan to protect drivers and riders from contagious respiratory illnesses like COVID-19. Your plan should consider things like cleaning and disinfecting, reduced capacity to achieve social distancing, and more. While there’s no single approach to meeting everyone’s unique situation, there are some generally applicable steps you can take to help protect your people.
Cleaning and disinfecting your buses and vans is very similar to the methods used for cleaning inside your buildings. One difference, however, is the products you’ll need to use to avoid damaging materials like vinyl seat covers, plastics, and seat belts. Some chemicals, such as bleach, can cause seat belts to deteriorate, resulting in weakened material that may fail in an accident.
To avoid damaging certain materials:
Several bus manufacturers have released guidance regarding the types of disinfecting chemicals that are safest to use on interior materials.
When cleaning and disinfecting vehicles, it is recommended to frequently wipe down high-touch surfaces like handrails, seats, armrests, driver’s area, door handles, and other applicable surfaces. At a minimum, consider disinfecting high-touch surfaces between runs and at the end of the day. The CDC provides the following guidance for disinfection of hard, non-porous surfaces, including appropriate disinfectants (always follow the manufacturer’s guidance regarding chemical use on vehicle surfaces)1:
Check your state’s department of education website for additional cleaning and disinfecting recommendations specific to transporting students on buses. The US Department of Education website offers a list of links to each state’s department of education website. It can be found at: https://www2.ed.gov/about/contacts/state/index.html
In addition to cleaning and disinfecting vehicle interiors, there are other health and safety steps that will need to be considered. To protect both drivers and passengers, the CDC provides the following guidance:2
Bus and vehicle operators should be familiar with CDC guidance regarding safety and hygiene, such as3:
Some additional steps you may consider to further enhance the health and safety of passengers include:
The information provided in this article is intended to be helpful, but it does not constitute legal advice and is not a substitute for the advice from a licensed attorney in your area. We strongly encourage you to regularly consult with a local attorney as part of your risk management program.
Thank you for your interest in Brotherhood Mutual. We appreciate the opportunity to provide your church or other ministry with an insurance quote and will reply to your request as soon as possible.
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