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      Clinic hours expand after mold and mildew closure

      Officials are releasing plans of how they will provide health care after temporarily closing the Atkinson County Health Department.

      We currently have a WIC clinic in Willacoochee that we do once a week but now it will be open five days a week, said Ralph Naylor, Southeast Public Health Public Relations Director. Our WIC clients or anybody that needs any of the women, infants and children services will be able to go there and get services just like they would at the health department.

      The Willacoochee clinic will be open during regular business hours from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

      Patients will also be able to use facilities in surrounding counties until the Atkinson County Health Department is relocated into the old structure located at 636 East Austin Avenue.

      Officials expect that it will take two weeks before the facility is up and running at full capacity. Employees will be split between the old structure and the Willacoochee branch.

      As Atkinson medical professionals move back into their old building, county leaders will work to get rid of mold and mildew at the current site.

      We're going to ask an engineer and somebody to come in and locate what's causing this mold and what kind of actions we need to take in order to stop that, said Terry Morris, Atkinson County Commission Chairman.

      The Atkinson County Commission owns the facility that houses the health department.

      Terry Morris was alerted to the issue of mold by medical staff. He says his first thought was the safety of not only the children and their parents, but also the employees.

      After two inspections, a decision was made to close the facility.

      Officials believe water may be the cause for the overgrowth of mold and mildew.

      Anyone seeking additional information is asked to call 1-855-473-4374.

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