Rampant illness impacts Shelton school bus runs

SHELTON — Illnesses have run through the city-run bus company, preventing several bus runs last week, with impacts expected to continue into this week. 

Superintendent Ken Saranich and Mayor Mark Lauretti, in a joint statement to parents Friday, said the city-owned Shelton Student Transportation Service experienced a 15 percent staff absence due to illness last week. 

“These driver and monitor shortages are impacting bus routes that will continue, at least for the remainder of next week,” the statement continued. 

Saranich said the district was off Monday in recognition of Rosh Hashanah, but the impact remained unknown entering the week. 

“We are just hoping for the best,” Saranich told Hearst Connecticut Media. 

Saranich said the city and schools want to keep parents informed of the potential impact to bus routes this week. 

The statement said private bus company transportation has been retained to cover missed runs where possible, but “these contractors are also experiencing similar absenteeism and have not been able to meet all our service needs.” 

In addition to drivers, Saranich and Lauretti said the illnesses have impacted the bus service's front office, with five of the six management staffers including dispatchers, absent. 

Temporary staff were brought in to assist with the phones and dispatch for the remainder of the week.