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Important Information for the Week of August 17th

All Bronx Courthouses Are Open

On August 8, 2015, the City of New York announced that water from the cooling towers of two of the courthouses in the Bronx – the Bronx Housing Courthouse at 1118 Grand Concourse and the Bronx Hall of Justice at 265 East 161st Street – tested positive for Legionella bacteria. (Tests at the two other Bronx courthouses were negative.)

The NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (“Department of Health”) has determined that all four of the Bronx courthouses, including the two where the tests were positive, are safe for occupancy. Accordingly, all courthouses in the Bronx are open for business as usual.

The reasons for the Department of Health determination are as follows.

First, all appropriate steps to eradicate the Legionella bacteria were taken after the testing samples were taken, but prior to the receipt of the test results. Immediately after taking the testing samples, the City disinfected the cooling towers in all four of the Bronx courthouses. The City has also implemented an ongoing monitoring and cleaning procedure to ensure that there will not be a recurrence of the bacteria.

In addition, the Department of Health advised that even if there were Legionella bacteria in the cooling tower of a courthouse, there would be no danger of transmission to a person inside the courthouse because the air conditioning, ventilation and heating systems connected to the cooling tower are entirely enclosed. Legionella is spread only by water vapor, and therefore, there is no danger of airborne transmission of the bacteria inside the courthouse. In addition, the other water systems in the building (e.g., drinking water) are not connected the cooling tower.

Finally, the Department of Health advises that a study of the pattern of the Legionnaires’ cases in the Bronx indicates that the source of this outbreak is further south in the Bronx, and there is no evidence that any of the cases have any connection with the courthouses or other buildings in the Bronx civic center.

For more information on Legionnaires’ Disease (or Legionellosis), go to:
http://www1.nyc.gov/nyc-resources/legionnaires-disease.page

 

NOTE: The information above relates to NY State Courts.

If you are interested in emergency notices for NY Federal Courts,
please use the following links:
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Last updated on August 14 at 5pm.
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