MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. (WDVM) — Montgomery County leaders are calling on the Maryland National Guard to help drive school buses as driver shortages enter their second week in the county.

On Tuesday, emergency management leaders said they had put in a formal request with the Governor’s office for the National Guard to step in and fill vacancies.

The sudden shortage in school bus drivers caused problems for Montgomery County Public Schools students and families last week, leaving dozens of bus routes without a driver to run them. The school system cited challenges associated with COVID-19 for the shortage.

During a Board of Health briefing on Tuesday, leaders explained MCPS requested the county’s help make the formal request.

“We are trying to help them to the maximum extent that we can. But obviously, CDL drivers were a problem before, CDL drivers with a background check so they can supervise students while they’re on the bus, also a challenge,” said Dr. Earl Stoddard, Montgomery County’s assistant chief administrative officer.

About four dozen MCPS bus routes were affected by shortages Tuesday morning.