River Valley School District canceled classes because bus drivers had side effects from COVID-19 vaccine

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SPRING GREEN, Wis. — The River Valley School District canceled Thursday classes because the district’s bus service was short staffed due to “a number” of drivers calling in sick after getting vaccinated against COVID-19.

The district announced Wednesday night in a Facebook post that Thursday classes would be canceled because “Lamers is unable to transport students.”

Lamers Area Regional Manager Paul Mennen said “a number” of drivers in Spring Green got vaccinated Wednesday, and many of them experienced side-effects as a result. Mennen said a location manager got numerous calls from staff saying they were too sick to come in on Thursday.

“We covered what we could until we had more calling in than we could provide substitutes,” Mennen said.

According to Mennen, Lamers has had some drivers in other districts call in after getting vaccinated, but never so many that they couldn’t cover all the necessary shifts. Mennen said the bussing company spoke with the district throughout the day and the decision to cancel school was a joint one.

“I know it’s inconvenient for parents, but at the end of the day it was probably a good decision,” Mennen said. “I know it was still short notice, but you also have it on a snow day.”

Drivers are expected to be back and ready by Friday.

Luckily, side effects from the vaccine mean its working. Local health officials said those side effects are just a small price to pay for immunity.

News 3 Now reached out to River Valley Schools, and District Administrator Loren Glasbrenner referred all questions to Lamers.