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Rockingham hospital closes to battle bat infestation

Posted February 18, 2012
Updated February 19, 2012

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— FirstHealth Richmond Memorial Hospital in Rockingham moved patients out Friday and will not accept any new patients until it can eliminate a colony of bats from the hospital, the company said in a statement Saturday.

“Our primary concern is for the safety and well-being of our patients, families, visitors, and employees,” said Gretchen Kelly, FirstHealth public relations director. “We are making every effort to accommodate all those affected by this event.”

The hospital has been working with a professional bat removal service to expel the bats.

Richmond County health inspectors have determined that there is no evidence of bat guano in the hospital and, after the animals are removed, the hospital should post no lingering risk to patients or employees.

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