New Jersey state health officials were notified mid-December of a case of Legionnaires’ disease at a middle school in Trenton, New Jersey. The case involved a custodial worker at Grace A. Dunn Middle School and the Trenton Health Department was investigating on location last Friday, Dec. 20.
According to Donna Leusner, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Health, “[t]he school district is taking all appropriate action” and is “remediating the water system when the building is closed for holiday break.”
The middle school closed on Dec. 21 for the holidays and will reopen Jan. 6 after the New Year.
The school district was made aware of a possible Legionella presence
at the Dunn Middle School at a meeting on Nov. 13. This monthly meeting involves the district’s executive director of building and grounds, the manager of human resources, and insurance representatives to discuss health and safety issues for employees.
After the meeting, an environmental assessment was conducted and water samples were collected. Of the tested areas, three areas required remediation – a hot water tank, a shower head in a locker room, and a sink in a locked closet.
Francisco Duran, the school superintendent, said that they “acted immediately to isolate those three areas” and that “no children or staff were put at risk, given the nature of the results.”
Remediation is currently underway while the school is closed for the holidays and parents and guardians will be notified of the incident once remediation work is complete.
The school district reached out to state and city health departments and were told that students, teachers, and staff did not need to be tested due to the nature of the environmental assessment results.
The confirmed Legionnaires’ disease case involving the custodial worker, however, has not yet been attributed solely to the school by the state health department because it is an isolated case.