Bed­bugs found for 4th time in weeks at Moss Jus­tice Cen­ter in York

The Herald (Rock Hill) - - Local & State - BY AN­DREW DYS adys@her­al­don­

For the fourth time in less than a month, bed­bugs have been found at the Moss Jus­tice Cen­ter in York.

The in­sects were found Fri­day af­ter­noon in a re­cep­tion area of the so­lic­i­tor’s of­fice, said York County Clerk of Court David Hamil­ton. That of­fice is on the se­cond floor.

The area had been “locked down” and “quar­an­tined” af­ter pre­vi­ous bed­bug in­ci­dents in Oc­to­ber in the 16th Cir­cuit So­lic­i­tor’s Of­fice, but at least one live in­sect was found, Hamil­ton said.

The area will be sprayed and treated over the week­end, and the build­ing is ex­pected to be open Mon­day af­ter an in­spec­tion, Hamil­ton said.

The so­lic­i­tor’s of­fice pros­e­cutes crim­i­nal cases.

Mon­day, the ob­ser­vance of Vet­er­ans Day, is a state hol­i­day in South Carolina, but not a county hol­i­day for em­ploy­ees, of­fi­cials said.

“We an­tic­i­pate the area be­ing cleaned and ready and be­ing open for busi­ness Mon­day,” Hamil­ton said.

The courts build­ing was open this past week, and held civil and crim­i­nal hear­ings de­spite bed­bugs be­ing found in the build­ing next door on Mon­day. Bed­bugs were found in the court build­ing on Nov. 1 and in Oc­to­ber.

The build­ing has more than 100 em­ploy­ees from of­fices in­clud­ing the clerk of court, so­lic­i­tor, pub­lic de­fender, court se­cu­rity and other court func­tions.

The Moss cen­ter is made up of two build­ings - the courts build­ing and a build­ing next to it con­tain­ing the York County Sher­iff’s Of­fice and county jail.

Bed­bugs were found in the lobby of the jail on Mon­day. All the lobby fur­ni­ture was re­moved and the area was treated, ac­cord­ing to sher­iff’s of­fice of­fi­cials.

Sher­iff’s of­fice of­fi­cials said they did not be­lieve the bugs found Mon­day were con­nected to the

ear­lier in­stances at the build­ing next door.

No bugs were found in other ar­eas of the sher­iff’s of­fice build­ing, Sher­iff Kevin Tol­son said Mon­day. The jail’s 460-plus in­mates did not have to be moved or forced to evac­u­ate. More than 350 sher­iff’s of­fice em­ploy­ees also re­mained in the build­ing.

How­ever, the ad­ja­cent courts build­ing at the Moss cen­ter was evac­u­ated and court can­celed Nov. 1 af­ter bed­bugs were found in the se­cond floor court­rooms and other pub­lic ar­eas on both the first and se­cond floors.

Chem­i­cal treat­ment was done the week­end of Nov. 2-4, of­fi­cials said.

The first in­stance of bed­bugs was Oct. 16. The in­sects were found in of­fice ar­eas of both the so­lic­i­tor’s of­fice on the se­cond floor and the pub­lic de­fender’s of­fice di­rectly below on the first floor, of­fi­cials said. Dogs trained to find the bugs “hit” on ar­eas in both the pros­e­cu­tor and pub­lic de­fender of­fices, of­fi­cials said in Oc­to­ber.

Those of­fices were treated with heat treat­ment in Oc­to­ber.

York County of­fi­cials have said all coun­ty­owned build­ings will be in­spected for bed­bugs since the out­breaks at the Moss Jus­tice Cen­ter in­ter­rupted court ser­vices. But county of­fi­cials have not said when those in­spec­tions will take place or


how much it will cost.

It also re­mains un­clear if more treat­ment mea­sures will be used af­ter the fourth in­ci­dent.

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