Guilford County’s jail in downtown Greensboro only opened a decade ago – and people still refer to it as the “new” jail – however, the “new” building has a serious mold problem that has the Guilford County Sheriff’s Department and other county staff making moves to keep the inmates safe from related health threats.

The Guilford County Sheriff’s Department reported finding mold in some inmate housing areas on the third, fifth and seventh levels of the Guilford County Detention Center in Greensboro.

The county has two jails. One in Greensboro and one in High Point.  The county jail in High Point opened in January of 1990.

A press release from the department stated that the mold problem in the Greensboro jail is being addressed.

“In response to this issue,” it states, “the Sheriff’s Office and County Risk Management officials promptly hired an independent environmental testing company to perform air quality and mold assessments in all potentially affected areas at the Detention Center. Many of those assessments were performed between Tuesday and Friday of this week [August 2 through August 5] and the Sheriff’s Office and County are awaiting written reports of the test results. The remaining assessments will be completed the week of Monday, August 8th.”

Sheriff’s officials say that they’ve looked into health concerns: “In the first housing area tested this week… the independent company has verbally confirmed that the mold, while allergenic, was not toxigenic. In other words, while some individuals may exhibit an allergic response to the mold, it was not the type of mold that produces small, molecular toxins known as mycotoxins.”

While awaiting the latest results of the mold tests, the Sheriff’s Department has hired another company to begin a complete cleaning of all areas where mold was found.

Jail staff has begun giving inmates held in those areas fresh linens, mattresses and clothing.

Inmates housed in the affected areas are also being relocated – on a rotating basis – to other areas inside the Greensboro Detention Center while the testing and cleaning is done.

The press release stated, “Health and medical well-being of inmates in our Detention Centers is an important priority and both the Sheriff’s Office and County will continue their pro-active measures to address this issue. Further information will be provided to the public as it becomes available.”