As of May 28, 2020, it has not been determined if Covid-19 can be transmitted from humans to Big Brown Bats that are commonly found in homes (or vice versa). Studies are in process to assess that risk.
Our team practices social distancing and wears N-95 masks/gloves to protect people and bats. Our typical bat exclusion service does not come in close contact with bats or people because we are working on the outside of the home. When we are inside attic spaces, we wear proper personal protective equipment. This is to help protect us from nuisance dust and covid-19 exposures.
There are occasions where we respond to a home to catch a live bat that is found indoors. Typically, the bat was in close contact with the resident. When this occurs, it is essential that the homeowner get the bat tested for rabies (and seek medical advice). This testing is lethal for bats. Additionally, during the Covid-19 pandemic, there is uncertainty if the bat was exposed to Covid-19 while being inside the home from the occupants. Therefore, if the bat is captured, we require that the bat is euthanized. These actions are necessary to mitigate the risk to the resident bat population. In order to protect people from disease, it is absolutely necessary that we respond to these calls.
For a variety of health reasons, it is never a good idea to have bats living in your attic. It's not good for the bats or people. Bats are at risk from indoor cats & humans. It is quite common for bats to get inside the home, fly around a bedroom or basement, and find their way back into the attic. This can occur undetected for some time.
According to US Fish and Wildlife:
"The health and welfare of the public, as well as our nation’s wildlife, is a top priority. Until we have a better understanding of the risk to North American bat species posed by SARS-CoV-2, we request that permit holders and subpermittees temporarily postpone activities that require direct contact with wild bats. We know that many mammals are susceptible to infection by a diversity of coronaviruses, and that these viruses can be found in wildlife just as they can in people. What is not currently known is whether the novel coronavirus responsible for COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) has the potential to infect, or cause illness in, North American wildlife, including bats.
To that end, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with the U.S. Geological Survey and a team of wildlife disease experts to quickly assess the risk the virus may pose to North American bat populations and will release recommendations to management agencies as soon as evidence-based guidance becomes available. In the meantime, consistent with universal precautions, and out of an abundance of caution to protect bat health, we are asking you to postpone activities requiring direct contact with bats. In cases where such activities are absolutely necessary, they should only be conducted with appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) to prevent possible viral transmission. "