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Duluth Clinic Closed Due to Odor will Reopen Friday

Posted at: 04/23/2013 3:59 PM
Updated at: 04/25/2013 6:17 PM
By: Travis Dill
tdill@wdio.com

The first street clinic closed on Tuesday after reports of a strange odor. After two days of air quality testing the clinic will reopen Friday.

Officials with Essentia Health don't know what caused the odor, but they are confident the building is safe after days of testing.

Essentia spokesperson Kim Kaiser said a small number of people noticed an odd smell on Tuesday.

“I was not in the building to smell it myself, and not everyone in the building did smell the odor, but those who did described it as an ether odor,” Kaiser said.

She said the clinic closed as a preventative measure. The Duluth Fire Department and an independent company have tested the air inside the clinic. Some samples even went to a lab in New York.

“The results have come back from them and they've been giving us a clean bill of health for the air inside the building. And they're looking at these air samples to the parts per billion,” Kaiser said.

Despite the closure Kaiser said most patients made it to other facilities for appointments, but some had to reschedule.

One of those patients is Gloria Brunette, but she said it was easier than expected.

“I was pleasantly surprised when she said she could give me an appointment next week. I thought I would have to wait weeks or even months,” Brunette said.

More than a dozen people felt faint on Tuesday, but Essentia said there are no lingering health problems. Officials said they will continue to monitor the air quality at the clinic.