LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) – It’s been a two-month battle trying to eliminate legionella at the Lancaster County Prison.
It started with one inmate testing positive for Legionnaires’ Disease in late August.
They did recover.
In a statement from Michael Fitzpatrick, the communications director for the county commissioners office, said, “Since the Warden’s report at the September 21st Prison Board meeting, no staff or inmates have demonstrated symptoms consistent with or tested positive for legionella.”
On Sept. 22, General Services conducted 63 follow-up tests.
That was after the facility went through a hyperchlorination once the first traces of the bacteria were found.
On Oct. 4, three of those tests came back positive. These are not new cases of legionella but areas that had been treated and tested again with the same result.
The next day, General Services did more testing on the cells. They are awaiting the results.
General Services will continue to test within the facility. The prison is also monitoring inmates and staff for possible symptoms of the disease, which if not treated right away can lead to severe pneumonia.
The elderly, smokers, and those vulnerable to lung infections are at a higher risk if they get Legionnaires’ Disease.
This situation is one that makes a case for the over-170-year-old prison to be retired when a new facility is built in the next few years.
abc27 will continue to provide information about legionella in the prison as it becomes available.