Mayor Mike Spano announced on Friday that Legionella bacteria were discovered at Riverside High School in Yonkers, NY during cooling tower testing.
The decision to test the cooling towers occurred after the recent Legionnaires’ disease outbreak that sickened over 100 people in the South Bronx and resulted in 12 deaths.
“In the effort to protect the public health and safety of Yonkers residents combined with the recent outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease in neighboring Bronx County earlier this month, our administration proactively directed all city-owned and operated cooling towers to undergo preventative maintenance,” said Spano in a statement Friday. “After checking cooling towers at our school facilities, Riverside High School’s tower tested positive for the Legionella bacteria. The facility was closed immediately out of an abundance of caution to allow for the proper disinfecting and cleaning process to occur. Riverside was reopened today and the cooling tower does not pose any health risk to students, administrators, staff or other members of the public. I want to thank all city and school facilities staff who acted swiftly and professionally to ensure our residents remain safe.”
The state of New York established a free hotline to answer any questions about the new regulations at 1-888-769-7243. Additionally, those who need to register a cooling tower can visit the State’s Department of Health website at www.health.ny.gov.
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