LONDON, ONT -- The Chair of the Middlesex London Board of Health says the final days of the Middlesex London Health Unit’s (MLHU) was a mad scramble due to the arrival of COVID-19.

The move has face criticism in recent weeks for leaving behind a large amount of office furniture and electronics a 50 King Street.

Concerns were also raised about the electronics containing personal or private health information.

“There was really a mad scramble at the end of the day to get moved,” said Maureen Cassidy, Chair of the Health Board.

Cassidy says the move coincided with the early days of COVID-19 when 80 per cent of the health unit’s staff was attending to the pandemic.

“Once our lease date was up, if we were to extend out time in that location, we would have been paying double what our regular lease rate would have been.”

According to Cassidy that would have cost tax payers hundreds of thousands of dollars.

However, when CTV News London contacted Middlesex County, the landlord at the time, Warden Cathy Burghardt-Jesson said they were never contacted about the possibility of staying beyond the lease.

“In addition to not being contacted about staying beyond the end of lease, the County was not asked to provide a price to extend the MLHU lease,” said Burghardt-Jesson.

Middlesex County continues to examine the abandoned equipment for reuse at county facilities or organizations within its member communities.