August 11, 2015
By Stephanie West
New York, NY – The state’s multi-agency deployment task force is continuing to test for Legionella bacteria throughout the Bronx. The State Mobile Command Center open at Hostos Community College, is leading this initiative. Outreach and testing by NYS personnel is taking place in several sections of the borough.
The effort on Saturday August 8th resulted in over 125 buildings being canvassed. State officials on Sunday August 9th focused not only on the impacted area but also in Morrisania, Hunts Point, Mount Eden, Mott Haven and Highbridge. The State’s Emergency Operations Centers in both New York City and Albany continue to operate around the clock.
“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.”
The state has made Legionella testing available at no cost to building owners, operators, managers and landlords. 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 helps building owners comply with recent New York City regulations that towers need to be tested for sources of Legionella bacteria. When tests show dangerous levels of bacteria, the State will work with property owners and managers to facilitate prompt disinfection.
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 spread of this disease.”