NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — An Upper East Side Catholic school has been closed because testing revealed low levels of legionella bacteria in a cooling tower.

As 1010 WINS’ Al Jones exclusively reported, faculty meetings scheduled for Monday and Tuesday have been moved while continued disinfecting is conducted.

Principal Joseph Ciancaglini sent faculty members at The Convent of the Sacred Heart School, 1 E. 91st St., a letter explaining the situation.

“While it was only found in small amounts and is unlikely to have infected anyone, we have closed the mansions this weekend to eradicate the bacteria. The cooling system will be disinfected twice over the weekend, supervised by an environmental engineering firm that is skilled in dealing with this bacteria,” the letter said.

As CBS2’s Valerie Castro reported, the discovery came after the cooling tower was tested as a result of legislation recently passed following a Legionnaires’ outbreak in the Bronx.

The Legionnaires’ outbreak earlier in the summer killed a dozen and sickened over 100 more in the south Bronx, prompting city guidelines for testing and treating cooling towers.

In a statement the Department of Health said that the school took the appropriate steps to disinfect the tower, and that the positive test result underscored the importance of recent Legionnaires’ legislation.

“The Convent of the Sacred Heart School properly disinfected its cooling tower. Its cooling tower’s positive test result, and subsequent disinfection, underscores the importance of the new legislation the Mayor signed just two weeks ago.”

The school — described on its website as an all girls’ school — plans to open as scheduled next week.


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