Monmouth County Courthouse to Remain Closed This Week
The building was evacuated twice after dozens of employees became sick.
The New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services will conduct prolonged air quality tests Thursday and Friday, according to a press release issued by the county. Initial testing for common allergens and volatile compounds did not reveal anything out of the ordinary. However, the previous tests were short-term screenings, whereas the state’s testing will be conducted over a 24-hour period.
On Friday and Monday, employees in the courthouse reported experiencing a variety of symptoms, including shortness of breath, nausea, chest pain, heart palpitation, rash and dizziness.
County officials initially thought cut flowers brought into the west wing of the building on Friday was the source of the illness and the building was cleaned over the weekend.
On Monday, however, more than 65 workers reported feeling sick, with dozens requiring medical treatment.
"What we found today is that it wasn't just limited to one area of the building where the fresh cut flowers were. It was throughout the whole building," said William Heine, a county spokesperson, at a news conference on Monday.
Once tests are completed, the building will be cleaned again. County officials will determine whether or not to open the courthouse early next week after next have the state’s tests have been examined, according to the release.