MINGO COUNTY, WV (WOWK) – The Mingo County Board of Education says students at Kermit PK-8 are learning remotely Friday, Oct. 7 while crews work to “maximize air quality” at the school after “an elevated level of allergen spores.”

The BOE says air samples and swabs were sent to Hayes Microbial Consulting for quality tests, and they recently received those results. In the test results, the company confirmed it received the samples on Sept. 30, 2022.

School officials said the samples included an outdoor air sample for a baseline test and sample collections from four classrooms.

According to the BOE, the results showed one classroom had a total of approximately 374 allergen spores for cubic meter. Officials say while this number is still below the national safety standard level of 400, it is still high and being addressed by the school.

The remaining results showed the other samples collected indoors had only traces of allergen spores and were “well within” the safety standards. School officials say only two of the 24 surface swabs taken showed heavier concentrations of allergen spores, while the remaining 22 swabs showed light or no detectable spores.

The air quality work being done in the school is targeting these rooms, the BOE says. Mingo County Schools Maintenance Department staff are working to clean the HVAC units and air vents and to replace ceiling tiles. Air scrubbers are also being put in the classroom that had the elevated level of spores.

The BOE says another air quality and surface swab test will be done in every classroom at the school and sent to Hayes Microbial Consulting to be tested.

Mingo County Schools officials say they are hoping to have students back in person on Monday, Oct. 10.