While scouring provincial court on the fourth floor of Atlantic Place in St. John’s last night, Orkin Canada’s K-9 unit found more bugs.
The bugs were found on eight chairs. Three of those chairs were in the Crown attorney’s interview room, three more were in the settlement conference room, one was in the closed-circuit TV area and one was in the court reporters’ break room.
The rooms where bugs were found will likely be treated today, if not tomorrow. A process to eradicate all the bedbugs in the court has been authorized for tomorrow, according to a news release received this morning from Chief Judge D. Mark Pike. It could continue through Sunday.
A court employee’s home has also been checked by the K-9 unit, and bedbugs were found on a couch. According to the news release, the home is likely being treated today.
Previous story from Thursday afternoon:
A Crown attorney refused to go to work this morning due to the ongoing bedbug situation at provincial court on the fourth floor of Atlantic Place in St. John’s.
A bedbug was first discovered Oct. 23 outside the holding cells, and four more were found Nov. 20.
According to a news release from Chief Judge Mark Pike, Crown attorneys have since been told that bedbugs are not a valid reason to refuse to come to work if court is open. Employees who refuse to attend work for that reason may be discipliined.
In a meeting this morning with court representatives, Orkin Canada, the Department of Justice and Martek, it was decided that Orkin will fumigate the whole fourth floor as soon as possible.
Orkin’s K-9 unit will continue to scour the floor for bed bugs this evening. If bugs are found, the area(s) will be vacuumed, steamed and sprayed. Areas where none are found will still be vacuumed and steamed.
The company has estimated that the fumigation process could take up to two days, and Pike said it is hoped the process can start Saturday.
Occupational Health and Safety inspectors are at the court this afternoon. According to the news release, employees will have an education session on the matter tomorrow in Courtroom 7.