CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WRIC) — A Chesterfield County elementary school will be closed until further notice as health officials investigate the presence of the LP1 strain of the Legionella bacteria, which could cause an illness, discovered in a cooling tower at the school.
The county confirmed in a Aug. 2 release that samples tested by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed that the bacteria was present in a cooling tower at Greenfield Elementary School. This disclosure comes after the Chesterfield Health District (CHD) said in July that there are 10 confirmed cases of Legionnaires’ disease in northeastern Chesterfield.
Legionnaires’ disease, caused by the Legionella bacteria that naturally live in lakes in streams, is a type of pneumonia. The bacteria is a concern when it’s aerosolized into small droplets into private water systems, like cooling towers, hot tubs and fountains, according to CHD.
In its release, Chesterfield County made it clear that there has been no confirmation that the bacteria at Greenfield has made anyone sick.
“The county is actively working to better understand the school division’s inspection regimen for facilities and to establish uniform protocols moving forward to ensure a more even and appropriate standard of care for publicly owned assets,” said Leslie Haley, chair of the Chesterfield County Board of Supervisors. “To that end, we have engaged the county’s Risk Management and Internal Audit functions to provide recommendations for best practices moving forward.”
The first day for Greenfield Elementary School students is Sept. 3.
You can find more information about Legionnaires’ disease here.
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