• The library was first closed on Dec. 20 after reports about people smoking in the restrooms
  • At least 6 bathrooms in the facility 'had higher than acceptable levels of methamphetamine'
  • Authorities are still waiting for a final report of the environmental testing

City officials in Boulder, Colorado, have closed the main public library after it was found in a test that the air ducts of several bathrooms and seating areas in the facility were contaminated with methamphetamine.

The facility was first closed on Dec. 20 to undergo environmental testing and the reports showed that at least six restrooms "had higher than acceptable levels of methamphetamine," according to a news release.

However, authorities were yet to ascertain whether the surface also had any traces of the deadly drug. The city conducted testing after employees complained of symptoms consistent with potential exposure to meth residue after entering the restrooms, Daily Camera reported.

There was also a spike in reports about "individuals smoking in public restrooms over the past four weeks," according to the release. "This is truly a sad situation and represents the impact of a widespread epidemic in our country," library director David Farnan said in the news release. "The city is consulting with Boulder County Public Health officials and will take all steps necessary to prioritize safety. We are committed to transparency and appropriate remediation."

The reports of further testing showed that meth was found only in bathrooms and some high-traffic seating areas on the south side of the building, Sacramento Bee reported, citing a Dec. 28 statement.

"When you come in the main entrance on the Arapahoe side, on the far west wall, there were a series of booths and tables that people would sit at for pretty long periods of time, and that high traffic seating area (is) where there was some residue from methamphetamine use on the table," Sarah Huntley, director of communication and engagement for the city of Boulder, told WFTV. "Not that the people were using methamphetamine at the table, but we believe that it was brought from their clothing and their skin."

The particles aren't particularly airborne and can infect an individual through touch or their clothing, the release said. "The issue is the residue on surfaces that individuals can come into direct contact with, through touch, and then transmit on their skin and clothing to other surfaces."

The latest news release said the library will tentatively open on Jan. 3. City officials are still awaiting a final report of the environmental testing before deciding on their next move. The city plans to release the exact test results within the next week.

The release stated that the affected areas will undergo "professional remediation" before the general public could access them, and the furniture in the seating areas will be repurposed with those that can be cleaned regularly.

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