David Zalubowski/AP Photo
A second Colorado library closed its doors after finding methamphetamine contamination that exceeded the state's thresholds.
Earlier this month, a library in Boulder decided to test its bathrooms after a recent spike in people smoking meth in the library's bathrooms, according to a statement from the city. Samples taken in the air ducts of six restrooms were found to have "higher than acceptable" levels of meth residue.
Following the example of the Boulder suit, the city library in Englewood, a town with a population of 33,000, also decided to test their facilities, according to the Associated Press. Within hours of getting the results, officials made the decision to temporarily close the space, city spokesperson Chris Harguth told the news agency.
"On January 6, the City of Englewood proactively tested the restrooms and other surfaces in the Englewood Public Library," read a statement shared on the city's website. "The restrooms on the second floor of the Englewood Civic Center were also tested."
"Test results in the restrooms exceeded state thresholds for methamphetamine contamination. Other spaces in the library also tested positive for lower levels of contamination," per the statement.
David Zalubowski/AP Photo
"The health and safety of our staff, residents and patrons is of the utmost importance to all of us at the City of Englewood," said City Manager Shawn Lewis, calling the test results "troubling."
"We immediately began working to remediate affected spaces with the goal of reopening the library as soon as possible. We want to thank our valued library patrons for their patience as we work to ensure our library is safe for everyone," he added.
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While library director Christina Underhill told the AP that drug use isn't common in the Englewood library, reports have increased as the weather has gotten colder.
To combat drug use, the Englewood library says they've "recently increased funding for additional library staff" and that a security firm will provide additional surveillance. Additionally, "the city is also researching firms to provide regular deep cleaning of areas where contamination was found."
In two separate incidents in Boulder, city employees were treated for health concerns after experiencing symptoms consistent with a potential exposure, but were ultimately cleared, according to a statement from the city.
"This is truly a sad situation and represents the impact of a widespread epidemic in our country," Boulder library director David Farnan said in response to the closure. "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 library in Boulder has since reopened, according to the AP, though bathrooms are still closed. It is unclear when the Englewood library will reopen.
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, please contact the SAMHSA substance abuse helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.