Harvey Hall reopens after city conducts Legionella Bacteria disinfection

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TYLER, Texas (KETK) – After a recent scare of Legionnaire’s disease during the East Texas State Fair, the City of Tyler took matters to protect the public including deep cleaning and testing of the Harvey Hall plumbing system.

Last week, The City of Tyler was notified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that Legionella Bacteria was found in the plumbing system but the strain was not consistent with the one that caused the Legionnaires’ disease cases present in our community.

This type of bacteria is not uncommon since comes in many strains and is found in water sources, both natural and man-made. Below, you will find a document containing those samples and the initial results.

“Legionella is common in nature, lakes, rivers, and various things like that,” said Jason Geslois, Epidemiologist for NET Health. “You can find it in buildings, long-dead legs, and different piping, and things like that, that either aren’t well maintained, or it’s not engineered out, it can be common.”

But according to NET Health, the strains found in Harvey Hall’s system were not the same as the one that affected eight people and resulted in the death of one Tyler man in October.

The eight-hour chlorine-based disinfecting process was followed by a system flush and further Legionella testing.

“We’ve killed everything that’s here, we’re going to keep the hot water off which will prevent future growth from occurring,” said Larry Snodgrass, President of ERI Consulting.

Last month’s outbreak has possibly been linked to a hot tub exhibition during the East Texas State Fair, in parallel with the outbreak at a North Carolina fair just one week before the local fair opened its gates.

“A warm environment, it’s just kind of a system that fosters its ability to grow and spread,” said Geslois.

The next big event happening at Harvey Hall, Mistletoe & Magic, is still expected to happen with the confirmation from the City of Tyler, the CDC, and NET Health that it is safe for use.

“We worked with the city to do the remediation steps with guidance from the CDC and that occurred during this weekend, so it will be safe, once it’s opened up to go back in, you know, I plan on going myself, so you know we’ll be looking forward to that event and future events and keeping the community safe,” said Geslois.

Despite the city feeling confident all the bacteria is eradicated, a final water test results will be confirmed in about two weeks.

“We believe that it’s always been safe, but we’re in the process of proving that to be the case and making doubly sure going forward,” said Snodgrass.

The Junior League of Tyler will be hosting its annual “Mistletoe & Magic” fundraiser at Harvey Hall in early December. They sent us this statement, saying that safety is their top concern.

” The Junior League of Tyler has received confirmation from NET Health, the Center for Disease Control and the City of Tyler that Harvey Hall is clean, clear, and safe – and the Magic of Mistletoe will go on!

We consider the safety of our community and merchants a top priority and are incredibly thankful for all of the measures the city went to, in order to safely re-open the doors of Harvey Hall. “

Mistletoe & Magic

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