SPENCER, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – A 30-day inspection will be conducted as a precautionary measure after multiple students got sick on two separate Rowan-Salisbury school buses within days of each other, according to district officials.
The first incident occurred on Friday, March 24, on Bus 372, near Long Ferry Road in Spencer.
The school bus was taking students from their homes to Hanford Dole Elementary when multiple students and the driver became sick.
Authorities said eight students got sick, as well as the bus driver, and they were rushed to a local hospital for medical evaluation. All students and the driver have since been released. On Tuesday, EMS advised only six people were taken to the hospital.
“We are looking at all potential causes both before students boarded the bus to leave Hanford Dole and while on the bus while en route,” Michelle Shue with RSS said.
Then on Monday, March 27, students were once again taken to the hospital after getting sick on a Rowan County school bus, according to the school district.
The second incident happened on Hanford Dole Elementary Bus 315, a replacement for bus 372, the vehicle driven during Friday’s situation, school officials confirmed.
Officials said the bus stopped at the Miller’s Ferry Fire Department after a student complained he was sick about 10 minutes into the route. When they arrived at the fire department, two other students said they also felt sick.
Those two students were taken to the hospital for evaluation on Monday; the others were moved to a substitute bus and resumed their route.
RSS has done an initial evaluation of the emission system on Bus 372 (Friday’s bus) and Bus 315 (Monday’s bus), and no issues were found with either bus.
One parent found out students got sick on a different bus from the one her daughter rides and pulled her off the bus entirely.
“She used to ride bus 52 and I took her off. Why? Because the kids were getting sick,” said Briana Hampton. “I’m not messing with that.”
“Both bus 315 and the additional substitute bus that was brought to the site to continue the route yesterday were tested by Miller’s Ferry Fire Department while at their site and no issues were found.
We will conduct a 30-day inspection as a precautionary measure.“
– Rowan-Salisbury School System
An additional evaluation will be conducted on both buses, RSS said.
“We will conduct additional idle testing and testing while running the bus route,” they explained on Tuesday. “We are working with county safety officials to evaluate any potential exposures at the school site prior to the bus departing the school.”
RSS said on Tuesday it will have a staff member riding on the 372 bus route to monitor all indicators for potential causes.