Officials continue to investigate why at least eight New Brockton High School students reported to Medical Center Enterprise with elevated carbon monoxide levels Thursday.
According to the Coffee County Emergency Management Agency Director James Brown, four students initially complained of symptoms like headaches, nausea and dizziness during a gym class sometime during school hours Thursday. School and emergency officials originally thought heat-related illnesses caused the problems, but medical tests showed the students had elevated carbon monoxide levels.
After the discovery, officials evacuated the gymnasium and tested for carbon monoxide. None was discovered.
Later Thursday evening, four more New Brockton High students reported to Medical Center Enterprise with similar symptoms and again tested for elevated carbon monoxide levels. At about 10 p.m. Thursday, officials scanned the whole New Brockton High campus for carbon monoxide leaks, again discovering nothing.
All students have been released from Medical Center Enterprise, per a Coffee County Schools press release sent Friday afternoon.
Officials canceled school at both New Brockton High and New Brockton Elementary "out of abundance of caution," Brown said. The cancellation allowed officials to scan the campus and the school's buses for carbon monoxide leaks.
Even after the buses operated for 10 minutes, officials detected no carbon monoxide present inside the vehicles.
Officials have contacted the Alabama Department of Public Health to assist in interviews with the affected students. The interviews will try to determine if the students share any commonalities like attending the same functions prior to school hours Thursday, Brown said.
No other members of the community have reported to area hospitals with carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms, Brown added.
The Coffee County Schools press release noted school officials plan to conduct additional carbon monoxide testing during the weekend if authorities recommend it. Authorities believe people can occupy New Brockton High School safely, so school officials plan to resume classes on Monday.
Brown said if parents or other students begin to experience symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, they should seek medical attention and report the incident to Coffee County Schools.