Earlier today the unnamed officer was dispatched to the new Walmart located at 4975 Jimmy Carter Boulevard for a service call, said Police Spokesman Cpl. Jake Smith.
While at the retailer, the officer "encountered a small plastic bag of suspected drugs." Although field tests were negative for drugs, the officer began feeling sick and went to the Gwinnett Medical Center, Smith said.
Upon the officer's arrival at about 1:15 p.m., hospital officials activated an "orange code" for a potential hazardous materials incident. Gwinnett County Fire Department responded, and treated the event as such.
"The officer was considered contaminated and remained outside in the ambulance bay near the emergency room," Smith said in the press release. "This area was treated as a 'hot zone' until the threat of contamination was assessed."
The hospital "re-routed traffic around the emergency department during this time so patients and family members remained safe," said Beth Okun, hospital spokeswoman. However, the emergency department itself did remain open, she said.
Police said it was later determined that the substance in the bag was detergent or powdered soap, and that it did not pose a threat. The officer has since been evaluated and released.
The closed-off section of the hospital was re-opened just after 2 p.m.