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GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — Guilford County bus drivers and substitute teachers will be getting a financial thank you from the board of education.

Guilford County Board of Education met Tuesday night to discuss several topics, including the mask mandate.

School leaders said the current mask mandate will stay for students and staff in all county school buildings as the COVID cases still surge.

Dr. Iulia Vann said the county sees approximately 900 new COVID cases each day – the highest since the pandemic started. With a 26% positivity rate and no expectations of it going down in the next couple of weeks.

Officials addressed the recent bus changes, where some students are now riding city busses to and from school, ensuring parent’s safety for each student is the county’s number one priority.

Dr. Sharon Contreras said the school board is working with Greensboro to add a program that will simplify the new student public transportation bus system in place.

Contreras also said special equipment will be added to city busses. Students will be able to swipe a bus pass to get to and from school, dual enrollment courses, internships, and sports.

Contreras did not give a date on when the program would potentially begin for students.

Towards the end of the meeting, leaders thanked school bus drivers and substitute teachers for dealing with the heavy workloads during their employee shortage and the pandemic.

School leaders said the $1,000 monthly bonus will be for bus drivers and substitute teachers that work every day, every month for the school year.

Board of Education Chair Deena Hayes-Greene, said the bonus will be paid at the end of each month.

“Drivers who work every school day each month will receive a bonus of $1,000 for that month. We greatly appreciate our drivers and thank them for their service,” said Hayes-Greene.