Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Update on Courthouse White Powder Incident

Posted By on Tue, Oct 30, 2018 at 4:45 PM

click to enlarge A Hazmat suit protects personnel outside of the Courthouse Clerk’s Lobby as seen from inside the lobby. - COURTESY OF MICHELLE BISHOP
  • Courtesy of Michelle Bishop
  • A Hazmat suit protects personnel outside of the Courthouse Clerk’s Lobby as seen from inside the lobby.
The white substance found smeared on the outside of the county court clerk’s office was not identified as a “chemical or biological agent” in initial tests but more will be conducted by an out-of-town lab.

One person did come into contact with the powder-like material, prompting “precautionary measures” to be taken, according to a release from the county. The FBI was also contacted.

“So far, there have been no reported symptoms of concern from this incident,” the release states.

The discovery of the substance around 9 a.m. Monday led to I Street being shut down between Fourth and Fifth streets and Humboldt County Court Clerk’s Office was closed for the remainder of the day due to “public safety concerns.”

Find previous Journal coverage here.

Read the full county release below:
Based on results from yesterday’s field tests, the Humboldt County Department of Health & Human Services - Public Health concluded that the substance found on the ground floor court house door at 421 I Street in Eureka was not an identified chemical or biological agent. The substance was cleaned yesterday afternoon, and Humboldt County Risk Management has cleared the area for use by members of the public.

One individual came in to contact with the substance yesterday. Reasonable precautionary measures were taken to prevent any potential ill effects. So far, there have been no reported symptoms of concern from this incident. An out of area lab will be performing further tests, based on hazmat protocols, to provide additional information.

We want to thank personnel from Humboldt County Risk Management, Environmental Health, Humboldt Bay Fire, Sheriff’s Office, Eureka Police, Public Health Lab, Courts and other professional staff, and the Hazmat team, all of whom worked together to mitigate any public exposure or injury from this event.
Out of an abundance of caution the public entrance to the Court Clerk’s office has been closed. All other functions of the courthouse remain open. We will provide more updates when more information becomes available.
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Kimberly Wear

Bio:
Kimberly Wear is the assistant editor of the North Coast Journal.

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