Miami-Dade school bus drivers dying of COVID-19 at alarming rate

Miami-Dade bus drivers Tim Jones died of COVID-19.

MIAMI – Veteran Miami-Dade County school bus trainer Tim Jones lost his two-week fight with COVID-19 on Monday morning, having never met his newborn.

Jones had been waiting for full FDA approval to get vaccinated, but when that came last week, it was too late for him.

His death is the most recent in a steady drip of devastating news into union hall, particularly among school bus drivers in the county.

“We’re losing, what, about seven employees a week to COVID,” said Phyllis LeFlore, president of the AFSCME Local 1184. “Now everybody is getting scared. That’s all I hear this morning. That we are scared.”

LeFlore spoke about a bus attendant who also lost their battle against the virus, and a 30-year school bus driver who died on the first day of school last week.

Since a bus terminal prayer vigil was held for a driver who died from COVID in February, the numbing numbers are ticking up, reflective of the statewide crisis.

“I was told a lot of them were unvaccinated,” LeFlore said. “We have so many unvaccinated, and I asked them why and I really can’t get an answer.”

LeFlore said she isn’t in favor of mandating vaccines but that the union is working on a program to encourage them.

To find out where you can get a COVID-19 vaccine in South Florida, click here.

About the Author:

Glenna Milberg joined Local 10 News in September 1999 to report on South Florida's top stories and community issues. She also serves as co-host on Local 10's public affairs broadcast, "This Week in South Florida."