UPDATE | No students exposed to bats at Elkview Middle School

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KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- UPDATE 9/12/19 @ 5:35 p.m.
No students were exposed to bats at Elkview Middle School, according to the Kanawha-Charleston County Health Department.

School district officials worked to solve a bat issue at Elkview Middle School. (Source: WSAZ)

This comes after a number of bats were found and removed from the gym and a storage area at Elkview. The school remained open while the bats were removed.

"There were a few that got up in the higher part of the gym and got trapped, and we hand removed those," damage control agent Noel Braley said. "There weren't that many. Just three to four that couldn't get out on their own."

Braley said that the school is taking preventative measures to make sure bats can't get back into the building. This includes using new caulk to seal the roof.

"Bats are sometimes a live carrier of rabies, they have tested certain populations down to 0.05 percent sometimes carry rabies," Braley said. "All the bats that we hand removed appear to be healthy, they all flew when we let them outside of the building, they flew nice."

Not everyone is happy that students remained in class while the bats were in the building. Jean Campbell's children and grandchildren went to Elkview, and she said she would not have allowed them to be at school with the bats.

"The parents should to put their hands up and go to the school and say 'I want my kids out of here until this is finished,' " Campbell said. "Close it down. It shouldn't take long."

"If it was Capital High School they would close it down," Campbell said. "If it was George Washington they would close it down. What is wrong with Elkview?"

The school was cleaned with germicide to ensure that no students get sick from the bats. Health Department officials will continue to investigate and follow up with the school throughout the week.



ORIGINAL STORY 9/12/19 @ 11:06 a.m.
School district officials are working to solve a bat issue at Elkview Middle School.

Kanawha County Schools Communications Director Briana Warner said the school is not closed because the bats were only spotted in sequestered locations -- the gym and a locked storage room that students do not have access to.

A professional contractor is working to remove the bats.

"Bats are protected species and have to be removed per DNR regulations and we're following those," said Warner. "The contractor has sealed roof and the areas into storage room have been cleaned, sanitized and sprayed with germicide. We are also working with the health department to ensure safety."

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