Q and A's Regarding Statewide Emergency Regulations to Prevent Spread of Legionella
LeadingAge New York members posed several questions regarding the emergency regulations, which apply statewide, to prevent the spread of Legionella. Click here for background on this emergency regulation, which applies to all nursing homes statewide, as well as all buildings with water cooling towers, statewide.
LeadingAge NY submitted the member questions to the State, and provide the answers received, below.
With regard to Section 4.3, Registration:
1. Q. When will DOH develop the electronic submission system for registration of our cooling tower, or has that been already created?
A. Yes, an electronic data base has been developed for cooling tower owners in NYS to register and report information. The database can be accessed at: http://ct.doh.ny.gov/
2. Q. If a provider registered their buildings with NYC, do they have to register them again with the State?
A. Yes, cooling tower owners in NYC also have to register with the State at http://ct.doh.ny.gov
With regard to section 4.11, relating to residential health care facilities (and hospitals):
Note: Many answers to these questions can be found in the updated guidance provided to Article 28 facilities through a Health Advisory that was issued on August 10, 2015 and can be found at the following website: https://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/legionellosis/
Attachment 3 in this Advisory contains the Environmental Guidance and Engineering Measures.
1. Q. How often should samples be taken for the facility’s potable water distribution system?
A. According to the guidance referenced above this should be determined by the facilities multi-disciplinary team making use of the Environmental Assessment Form information for each facility.
2. Q. What are the treatment and testing requirements are (if any) for tanks of potable water used as part of an emergency preparedness plan?
A. Similar to above there is no specific requirement within the regulation but this should be evaluated by the facilities multi-disciplinary team to evaluate the risk posed.
3. Q. A facility that has city water supply was told that additional water testing is not required. Can you clarify whether additional testing is required for facilities with NYC or other city-supplied water?
A. All Article 28 facilities, including those in NYC need to adopt a Legionella sampling plan for its facilities potable water distribution system utilizing the guidance in Attachment 3 referenced above.
4. Q. How often should samples be taken for the facility’s potable water distribution system?
A. As referenced above this should be determined by the facilities multi-disciplinary team making use of the facilities Environmental Assessment Form information and guidance provided within Attachment 3.
5. Q. The regulations themselves are very vague. Will DOH be providing any additional guidance to facilities? A. This guidance has been provided in Attachment 3 of the August 10, 2015 Health Advisory issued by the Department. A link to this Advisory is provided above.
If you have additional questions please let us know and we will pursue answers for you.
Contact: Diane Darbyshire, firstname.lastname@example.org, 518-867-8828