Orangeburg hospital reports bat sightings; DHEC is investigating - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Orangeburg hospital reports bat sightings; DHEC is investigating

ORANGEBURG, SC (WIS) -

An Orangeburg hospital is taking precautions to ensure safety after bat sightings were reported during the weekend.

The Regional Medical Center said the bats likely entered the hospital during a recent roofing project, said Jane Carson, public relations director for the hospital.

As of Tuesday, Carson said there have been no injuries or bites reported by patients, visitors or staff.

"We are taking every measure to ensure their safety,"Carson said.

The hospital was still open to the public as of Tuesday afternoon.

The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control is investigating the bat reports.

"We discussed the situation with the Regional Medical Center staff and understand that no one has been injured or bitten, but we are continuing to investigate," said Jim Beasley, spokesman for SC DHEC.

Bats can enter cracks as small as three-eighths of an inch, according to SC DHEC.

SC DHEC's website recommends that if a bat gets inside,open outside windows and doors in the room where the bat is located, turn off the light and close all internal doors from that room to the home or facility.The bat will likely leave the room.

However, if the bat doesn't leave, SC DHEC recommends calling a wildlife removal company.

"This is a difficult situation because of South Carolina laws protecting different species of bats, limiting what measures can be taken to eliminate the issue," Carson said. 

Copyright 2015 WIS. All rights reserved.

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