Suspicious substance at health department - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Suspicious substance at health department

October 10, 2006

Albany-- Southwest Georgia health officials had their own health scare that caused them to evacuate the district headquarters Tuesday.

Employees at the Southwest Georgia Health District on Jackson Street in Albany evacuated the building just after two Tuesday afternoon. While opening mail, a clerk came across a suspicious substance in a letter.

She immediately put the letter in a bag and tied it up.  That's part of the health department's suspicious mailing protocol. Employees were evacuated to the parking lot while Hazardous Material specialists investigated and tested the substance.

"We placed a phone call early to the sender of the letter and we couldn't get an actual company by that name but since that time, there's been more information that has been gathered and it was a mass mailing that was mailed out and it doesn't appear there's anything suspicious with it," said Public Health Director Dr. Jacqueline Grant.

The Hazmat team conducted two tests, a swab of the envelope and a swab of the office where the letter was opened. The test results were negative.

Health officials say although it didn't turn up anything dangerous, it gave them good emergency practice.

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