Since the beginning of the largest Legionnaires outbreak in New York City’s history occurred in…
Tag: Legionnaires’ Outbreak
New York City Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett has just announced that The Opera House Hotel was ground zero for New York City’s largest outbreak of Legionnaires’ Disease which took the lives of 12 South Bronx residents (although DOH still is not connecting the teacher who died from PS 325 in the impact zone back in April).
According to an email obtained by Welcome2TheBronx, Hostos Community College, which has an enrollment of over 7,000 students, has tested positive for Legionella, the bacteria which causes Legionnaires’ disease, however it is 10x below the threshold for recommended cleansing action by OSHA guidelines. Still, Hostos Community College went ahead and made sure that all cooling towers were treated and cleaned regardless of the results.
The building sits catty-corner to the Bronx General Post Office which tested also tested positive for Legionella and remained closed for several days while its cooling towers were treated and cleaned and is one of 5 buildings in a 1/2 mile radius from each other as you can see by zooming in on the map below.
An article in City & State yesterday indicated that medical and health experts agree with exactly what Welcome2TheBronx has been saying since we first found out about the Legionnaires’outbreak in the South Bronx: The drinking water supply in the buildings of those infected should have been tested.
Welcome2TheBronx has been accused of spreading misinformation when we questioned the possibility of our drinking supply not being safe and the need for testing based on federal health and safety guidelines yet experts have come out saying it’s ridiculous that New York City Department of Health hasn’t done so.
The Banknote Building (which half of the building is leased by NYC’s HRA department serving people on public assistance), The Bronx Detective Bureau, Daughters of Jacob Nursing Home, and Department of Homeless Services Intake Center in The Bronx were found to have tested positive for Legionella as it has crossed over into East Harlem in Manhattan and found at Taino Towers as mandatory testing of cooling towers is now in effect.
The Opera House Hotel in Melrose, The South Bronx, one of the sites identified as having had a Legionella contaminated cooling tower in New York City’s largest outbreak of Legionnaires’ in city history, issued a statement today which slams New York City Department of Health due to officials who, “…have refused to provide us with any information.”
The Opera House Hotel also claims that NYC DOH has yet to tell the hotel that their water cooler tested positive.
According to Erin Clark of NY1 as per a press conference yesterday, there were 3 additional Legionella contaminated sites besides Bronx Housing Court and Bronx County Hall of Justice. The Bronx General Post Office, Samuel Gompers High School and another Verizon building have been identified as contaminated and since been disinfected. This is the first time that a school has tested positive for the bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease which has infected over 100 and killed 10 not including a South Bronx teacher who died in April from the disease.
What do these buildings all have in common? Our drinking supply. Although our reservoirs may be fine and technically when New York City Department of Health tells us that our supply is safe, it does NOT mean that the systems of which it travels through is.
Welcome2TheBronx has just learned from an employee at a local Bronx Courthouse that both Bronx Housing Court and Bronx County Hall of Justice have tested positive for Legionella the bacteria which causes Legionnaires’.
A New York City Department of Health official has confirmed the story with Welcome2TheBronx and has added that both buildings’ cooling towers where the bacteria was found have been cleaned and disinfected.
We’ve been through this before in The Bronx. We all know if this were happening in Manhattan, perhaps on the Upper East Side or any area below 96th Street, there would be more action and faster results than we are getting, but we’re not.
It’s still a tale of two cities when it comes to health disparities and issues.
The Bronx Museum was overflowing with concerned Bronx residents about the current Legionnaires’ outbreak in our borough—so much so that well over a hundred more could not get inside.
Just days after NYC Department of Health announced a Legionnaires’ outbreak in the South Bronx, New York City’s Office of Emergency Management is rolling out its mobile office to The Bronx, tomorrow, August 4th. The Mobile office will be deployed throughout the 5 boroughs over the month of August to educate New Yorkers on preparing for emergencies and will also distribute literature on Legionnaires’ Disease.
With a 4th death, along with additional sites having been identified as contaminated with Legionella—the bacteria that causes Legionnaires disease—and additional cases of individuals who have contracted the infection, tonight’s Town Hall meeting at The Bronx Museum from 6PM – 8PM on the issue is going to have to answer a lot of questions.
Is the city doing enough? Is our drinking water really safe?