August 9, 2015
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Continues State Deployment in the Bronx to Test for Legionella Bacteria

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Governor Cuomo Continues State Deployment in the Bronx to Test for Legionella Bacteria
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Today’s Teams to Focus on Impacted Area as Well as Morrisania, Hunts Point, Mount Eden, Mott Haven and Highbridge.

Free Hotlines Established to Facilitate Sample Collection and Testing: 888-769-7243 or 518-485-1159

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the state’s multi-agency deployment is continuing to test for Legionella bacteria in the Bronx. The State Mobile Command Center is open at Hostos Community College to lead the effort, and expanded outreach and testing efforts are taking place throughout the borough. Yesterday’s effort resulted in over 125 buildings being canvassed. Today, state officials will focus on the impacted area and will canvass in Morrisania, Hunts Point, Mount Eden, Mott Haven and Highbridge. The State’s Emergency Operations Centers in both New York City and Albany are also open and assisting with coordination efforts.

“I want New Yorkers to know that we are actively working to protect the public health,” Governor Cuomo said. “We are continuing our all-hands-on-deck approach, and people should rest assured that every precaution is being taken to keep these communities safe.”

Teams led by the State Department of Health are canvassing impacted areas in the Bronx, providing information on Legionnaires’ Disease to members of the public as well as surveying additional buildings for cooling towers. This effort is continuing to be done in close coordination with the work of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and New York City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

Jim Malatras, Director of State Operations said, “By deploying more trained health officials, we are sending the message that the state is here to help the Bronx community. We will continue our efforts to address this outbreak, contain this disease and help keep New Yorkers safe.”

Dr. Howard Zucker, Commissioner of the State Department of Health, said “We are extending our deployment of health professionals to continue to assist in testing additional cooling tower systems in the Bronx. We are committed to keeping New Yorkers safe and we will continue our efforts to prevent the increased number cases of this disease.”

On Thursday, the Governor announced that the state is offering free Legionella testing to building owners, operators, managers and landlords of buildings with cooling towers or evaporative condenser units that can be sources of the bacteria. This testing is being offered free of charge, and two hotlines have been set up to further support the collection of testing samples. Those numbers are 888-769-7243 and 518-485-1159, and are staffed by trained operators Monday through Friday from 8:30am to 4:30pm.

This testing support also helps building owners and operators comply with the recent order from New York City that towers with the potential to become sources of Legionella bacteria be tested before mid-August. Building owners, operators, managers, and landlords who wish to have DOH test for Legionella can also send the name and address to which the kit should be mailed, and a working phone number to: [email protected]. DOH will send an appropriate sampling kit with simple instructions for sample collection.

The State DOH will provide results of the tests, and when the test shows dangerous levels of Legionella or other bacteria. When tests show dangerous levels of bacteria, the State will work with property owners and managers to facilitate prompt disinfection.

Legionnaires' FAQ Legionnaires' FAQ - Español

Contact the Governor's Press Office

Albany: 518.474.8418

NYC: 212.681.4640