School buses continue to roll in Milford despite COVID vaccine mandate concerns

Superintendent of Schools Anna Cutaia discusses the Milford schools opening at Pumpkin Delight Elementary School in Milford, Conn. on Thursday, September 10, 2020.

Superintendent of Schools Anna Cutaia discusses the Milford schools opening at Pumpkin Delight Elementary School in Milford, Conn. on Thursday, September 10, 2020.

Brian A. Pounds / Hearst Connecticut Media

MILFORD — No issues were reported Monday as Gov. Ned Lamont’s mandate requiring all the state’s school staff — including bus drivers — be vaccinated or provide negative tests weekly.

Milford Superintendent Anna Cutaia did not release the number of vaccinated district staff, saying only “100 percent of the staff will comply with the requirements as set forth in the governor’s executive order.”

Concerns were raised statewide last week that student transportation could be impacted, with those unvaccinated drivers requiring weekly tests or they will not be allowed to transport children. There were also concerns about some of the drivers going on strike Monday to protest the mandate.

James Richetelli, schools chief operations officer, said Milford — which contracts Durham School Services for its student transportation — had no negative impact on Monday.

Durham School Services uses approximately 75 bus drivers, including front-line and spare drivers in Milford.

“We do not have the number of drivers who are vaccinated,” he said. “However, Durham has certified to the district that all drivers who transport students are compliant with the executive orders for COVID vaccination or testing.

“We did not experience any issues with transportation this morning and we continue to be hopeful that we will not have any issues moving forward,” Richetelli added.

Regarding how many schools staffers are vaccinated, school communications director Kathy Bonetti said the district is still in the process of certifying that information and could not yet release that information.

brian.gioiele@hearstmediact.com