Chester County Intermediate Unit

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ALERT: Report of possible Legionnaires' disease

The CCIU administration was alerted by the family of an employee that said employee may have contracted Legionellosis, commonly referred to as Legionnaires' disease. The employee works at the CCIU Educational Service Center, the Technical College High School (TCHS) Pickering Campus, and the CCIU Learning Center.

The CCIU is committed to the safety and continued well-being of students and staff members. For this reason, the CCIU is proactively testing and chlorinating its water system. In addition, CCIU has confirmed that its current water treatment protocols are operating efficiently and that it is following the Chester County Health Department guidelines regarding water treatment protocols.
It is important to note the following facts:
  • When the case is confirmed, it will be referred to the Pennsylvania Department of Health. The Department of Health will then begin an investigation of the employee’s activities and whereabouts for the past 60 days, including the individual's home and work sites to determine where the individual contracted the disease.
  • To date, the Pennsylvania Department of Health has not contacted CCIU.
  • This disease is fairly common in multiple locations (home, water supplies, athletic facilities, lakes, standing water, etc.)
While CCIU has not been contacted by any official agency, the CCIU has already taken steps to proactively deal with this situation, including:
  • Testing for Legionellosis at the affected sites. Results will take up to 10 days to receive.
  • Initiating chlorination of the water systems at all CCIU facilities.
  • Contracting a national expert, Tim Keane, to advise CCIU administrative staff throughout the process.
  • Contacting the Chester County Department of Health and following its recommendations. The Chester County Department of Health has advised that CCIU facilities are safe and should remain open and operational.
For your information, regarding Legionellosis:

Legionellosis, or Legionnaire's disease, is a type of pneumonia caused by Legionnaires' disease bacteria (LDB). Legionnaires' disease is not contagious, and you cannot catch it from another person. The bacteria are common and grow in water. People often receive low-level exposure in the environment without getting sick. Legionellosis usually occurs only when someone who is already susceptible receives concentrated exposure to the bacteria. Persons who are heavy smokers, elderly, or whose ability to resist infection is reduced are more likely to contract Legionellosis than healthy, nonsmoking adults. Also, young children and youth are typically not at risk for Legionellosis. According to the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, most cases of Legionellosis are isolated and are not associated with an outbreak.

Please know that CCIU is taking every precaution to ensure that its schools are safe and healthy buildings. Please check back for updates, which will be posted as more information becomes available.

As always, the health and safety of CCIU staff and students is a top priority. As a result of the information and guidance that the CCIU has received from the Chester County Health Department, all CCIU schools and facilities will remain open and school will be held as scheduled.