Legionella scare prompts school closures for cleaning and disinfection
BATAVIA, IL — District officials are reassuring parents that the three Batavia Public School buildings that tested positive for Legionella bacteria will be thoroughly cleaned and ready for reoccupation Tuesday, October 9, according to the Batavia Patch.
Taking advantage of the extended weekend, Alice Gustafson Elementary School, Hoover-Wood Elementary School and Batavia High School will all be closed or have limited access as crews disinfect the buildings and their respective water systems, the story stated.
According to the story, traces of the Legionella bacteria were discovered last Thursday on faucets in one bathroom each at Alice Gustafson Elementary and Hoover-Wood Elementaryand on a shower head in a locker room at Batavia High School.
Batavia Superintendent Jack Barshinger said, “The bacterium was detected during a proactive environmental assessment unrelated to a specific health concern. Once the disinfection is complete, we will continue to conduct proactive environmental assessments in all of our buildings. We will continue to communicate with the school community about health and safety concerns.”
The bacteria causes Legionnaires’ disease, which is fatal in five to 30 percent of cases, but the Kane County Department of Health and the Illinois Department of Public Health have assured the district that the buildings will be safe for occupancy and the water supplies safe for drinking and sanitation purposes, the story noted.
No cases of Legionnaires’ disease have been reported in Kane County or any of the surrounding communities, the story added.
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