A state lab has confirmed that three of the ten bats recently found at Franklin County’s Hearn Elementary School were rabid, Franklin County Health Department officials said.
In a statement on Thursday, officials said that of the five bats found last week in the Hearn Elementary attic, one tested positive for rabies and four were negative.
Five bats were also found prior to Labor Day, the statement said.
“There does not appear to be any exposure to students or staff,” the statement said.
Prior to school starting each day, a district maintenance crew has been searching for bats and for points of entry, which are being sealed.
School district officials are working with the health department and a local wildlife pest removal company “to ensure that the bats are removed, tested and transported properly,” the statement said.
Franklin County Public Health Director Judy Mattingly said the school district had followed all recommendations to keep students and staff safe.
“We also want everyone to be aware that bats are a normal part of the ecosystem and that at this time, there is not a need for panic or concern of an outbreak in our county,” Mattingly said.
She said if people find a bat, they should quarantine the area and call a wildlife pest removal company to trap and remove the bat — “do not remove the bat yourself.”
Franklin Superintendent Mark Kopp said that district officials will continue to monitor the building and act on guidance from the health department.
“We will keep parents apprised of the situation as necessary,” Kopp said.