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Hospital ER locked down following patients’ exposure

Quarantine lifted after 3-1/2 hours

FRANKLIN

Bon Secours Southampton Memorial Hospital was locked down for about 3-1/2 hours beginning at 3:10 p.m. on Thursday after two patients had presented themselves with concerns about exposure to an uncontrolled substance. This information comes from Sgt. Michelle Anaya, spokeswoman for the Virginia State Police. The Chesapeake Field Office of the VSP’s Criminal Investigations Bureau was called in at the request of the Franklin Police Department.

Anaya said that Virginia Department of Emergency Management and HAZMAT teams responded. The substance — still not yet identified — was considered not to appear hazardous, and was collected for more testing. The quarantine was lifted at about 6:45 p.m.

She later explained that the term “uncontrolled” was used to describe the substance “because if it was hazardous and dangerous it could have contaminated many people.”

The investigation continues, said the spokeswoman.

The hospital issued a separate press release stating, “The two patients who self-presented to the ED are currently listed in good condition,” and directed any inquiries to the VSP.