PHOTO: Douglas County Court House in Waterville

UPDATE ON OCT. 24, 2019 AT 9:16 PM:

WATERVILLE, Wash. - The shelter in place order issued for buildings surrounding the Douglas County Courthouse in Waterville has been lifted.

The Douglas County Undersheriff told KHQ the substance that was found after an auditor's office opened a ballot is not harmful.

The courthouse will remain closed through Friday, Oct. 25.

UPDATE ON OCT. 24, 2019 AT 8:30 PM:

WATERVILLE, Wash. -A shelter in place order issued for the buildings surrounding the Douglas County Courthouse in Waterville will continue through the night.

Douglas County Undersheriff Tyler Caille told KHQ that the courthouse had to be evacuated when and employee in the auditor's office opened a ballot envelop and a white powder fell out.

The worker and three others were decontaminated and admitted to the hospital as a precaution. Undersheriff Caille said none of the workers who were decontaminated are sick.

Detectives are now looking into what the powder was and where it came from. The Douglas County Courthouse will remain closed Friday, Oct. 25.

If you are suppose to attend a hearing or need to do business at the courthouse on Friday, Undersheriff Caille said things will likely be pushed back to Monday. You're asked to call on Monday and double check.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE:

WATERVILLE, Wash. - The Douglas County Courthouse in Waterville is being evacuated after an unknown substance was found.

According to the Douglas County Sheriff's Office, individuals within 150 feet of the building are being directed to shelter in place. 

People must avoid the area. A response effort is in progress.

This is an ongoing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.