Through a public input collection tool, we opportunistically discovered a relationship between COVID-19, attitudes toward bats, and support for bat management in Arkansas . The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission requested public input on a proposed regulation to prohibit the killing of bats except when necessary for rabies testing . When all reasons for support or opposition are combined , 59 (11 %) mentioned diseases, of which 22 (37 %) specifically mentioned COVID-19 . Almost all (n = 21 , 96 %) statements that mentioned COVID-19 also included language that indicated a negative attitude toward bats . This suggests that the connection between resident bat species and COVID-19 may be a salient belief among Arkansans . Bats already face challenges relating to public perceptions and educational efforts focused on bat conservation should emphasize that it is not known to infect bat populations in North America.