Metro Center is #Legionnaires Free
BRONX, NEW YORK (BRONX NEWS)- Going the extra mile appears to have paid off for the Hutchinson Metro Center. The campus tested negative for Legionella.
Officials tell the News that despite repeated testing, they decided to clean the cooling towers this week as a precaution. This was done even though testing last week came up negative for Legionella.
According to Joe Kelleher, president of Hutch Metro, all five towers at the property tested negative over the weekend by the Health department. They had previously been tested (results negative), cleaned and disinfected in August as part of a regularly scheduled maintenance program.
As an extra precaution, the development took the further step of having the towers tested and disinfected AGAIN by their own contractor Monday and Tuesday, even after the Health Department tests came back negative. Kelleher explained that as this only costs a few hundred dollars (about $500 per tower), he ordered it done as an extra precaution for the peace of mind of his tenants and visitors to Hutch Metro, and because the nearby towers at Calvary and Bronx State tested positive.
Hutch Metro and Simone Development have been extremely proactive in their approach to cooling tower maintenance since the construction of the buildings.
On the other hand officials at Einstein College are working to disinfect their towers and are working with health officials.
Montefiore Medical Center, which runs the medical school, issued the following statement:
“Montefiore and Einstein have been compliant with all required NYC Department of Health (DOH) disinfection and testing of our cooling towers. Despite these efforts, the most recent water test conducted by the DOH showed detection of legionella. In coordination with the DOH, we are treating the towers to eliminate harmful bacteria in these water sources, sanitizing the area regardless of the results, and will continue to take every precaution to protect students and staff.”
“The investigation will continue to be run by the DOH. All inquiries about cooling towers should be directed to them.”
In addition to Lehman High School, the following locations also tested positive for the disease: the Chase bank at 2725 East Tremont; Calvary Hospital at 1740 Eastchester Rd.; Lehman High School at 2964 East Tremont; Bronx State Psychiatric at 1500 Waters Pl.; Einstein College at 1199 Sacket Ave., 1845 Eastchester Rd., and 1301 Morris Park Ave.
Shock over the latest revelations is angering and upsetting residents who have not heard anything about the latest revelations.
Before the latest announcement about the sources, an emergency town hall meeting was called for Thursday.
This comes as three new cases of the disease have been diagnosed. The current number of cases has grown to 10.
In Morris Park, residents are on edge. The neighborhood has been decorated for the upcoming Bronx Columbus Day Parade yet all anyone is talking about is the outbreak. The local supermarket has a sign in its window stating that it does not have a cooling tower. This is a reference to the cooling towers in large buildings where the disease has been detected.
Health officials will be on hand to answer questions at Maestros Caterers on Thursday at 8 p.m.
The latest Legionnaires outbreak comes on the heals of an outbreak in the South Bronx which claimed the lives of 12 people and infected 120. There the Opera House Hotel was determined to be the cause of the outbreak.
In January, the first outbreak of Legionnaires occurred in Co-op City. Three people have already filed lawsuits against the management company that runs Co-op City for failing to maintain the cooling towers which they claim resulted in them contracting Legionnaires.
The outbreaks in such diverse neighborhoods have residents scratching their heads as to what is causing the outbreaks.
In August, Mayor deBasio and Health officials declared an end to the outbreak after no new cases were discovered in the South Bronx.
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