LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. (WHTM) — The Lancaster County Prison is continuing to sanitize the prison after more preliminary test results came back positive for Legionnaires’ Disease.
Back on Aug. 23, the prison performed a hyperchlorination procedure after an inmate who tested positive for the disease was housed in the prison for a short period of time in mid-July. The first round of sanitation occurred when a preliminary test came back positive with a trace amount of the bacteria being found in a sink from the cell where the inmate resided.
On Aug. 22, Lancaster County General Services immediately ordered an additional 40 tests for the entire building. The tests were taken on the same day.
The prison says on Aug. 28, the additional testing came back with six preliminary positive results, all of which were in the highrise building. As soon as the results came back, the prison removed any inmates from cells where the tests came back preliminary positive. Lancaster County General Services also requested that hyperchlorination procedures be completed in the highrise water system.
The prison says they will conduct this procedure on Wednesday, Aug. 30. The procedure will take place over three days, to make sure each cell block within the building is properly treated.
The prison says that during the process, chlorination levels in the water will be much higher and inmates and staff will not be able to use the water system within the treated stack. The prison states they will be moving inmates to other housing units during this time. They will also provide inmates bottles of beverages and bag meals during this time.
According to the prison, following the hyperchlorination process, Lancaster County General Services will conduct follow-up testing 2 weeks after treatment to ensure that the bacteria has been eradicated from the facility.
At this time, the prison has said that no other inmates or staff have demonstrated symptoms consistent with Legionnaires’ Disease. The prison and its onsite medical provider will continue to monitor symptoms and order testing if necessary.
Legionnaires’ Disease, according to Mayo Clinic, is a severe form of pneumonia, or lung inflammation caused by infection. It is caused by a bacterium known as legionella.