South Ga. health department reopens after mold problem

A south Georgia county’s health department will reopen next week in the facility it left in August because of mold and mildew.


The Atkinson County Health Department had operated temporarily from its old offices in downtown Pearson and offered some services at a clinic in Willacoochee while corrections were made to what was then a year-old facility outside Pearson.

The health department staff will move back into the building Wednesday and Jan. 9, and open Jan. 10.


Jackie Woodard, a spokeswoman for the health district, said only that the County Commission, which owns the building, had informed the health department it could move back into its newer office.


Woodard said she had no information on what sort of work was done to make the building safe.


“The health department was just instructed they could move back into it,’’ she said.


The health department has also notified patients with future appointments that they will be seen in the new building.


Atkinson County Commission Chairman Terry Morris said he could not provide information on the repairs until next week.


The newer of the two buildings is a modular building where visible mold and mildew were deemed too dangerous for health of the staff and clients.


Inspectors said in August that water standing beneath the building had caused a build up of moisture inside that caused the mold and mildew, Morris said at the time.


The county had no choice but to reoccupy the building because otherwise it would have been required to pay a $600,000 Georgia Department of Community Affairs grant that helped fund the building. Under the grant agreement, the facility must be operated as a health department for at least 20 years.

On Jan. 13, the health department will resume normal hours.



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