The Department of Public Health has issued an emergency order to Apple Rehab nursing home in Rocky Hill for failing to adequately respond after water samples at the facility tested positive for Legionella.
According to the DPH, the drinking water at the facility was tested on October 27, 2020, December 1, 2020, January 15, 2021, and March 16, 2021, and on one or more of those dates, the water tested positive for Legionella.
DPH said Apple Rehab failed to maintain a water management plan to mitigate the risk of Legionella and other pathogens in the water, failed to establish and maintain an infection prevention and control program designed to provide a safe, sanitary, and comfortable environment and to help prevent the development and transmission of waterborn pathogen diseases and infections.
The facility also failed to restrict water use and use bottled water when there were concerns of Legionella in the water, according to DPH.
A spokesperson for Apple Rehab provided a statement to NBC Connecticut:
“Apple Rehab Rocky Hill is working closely with the Department of Public Health and complying with all recommendations to ensure water safety through a water management plan. The current water management program ensures the use of safe water at all times. The safety of our residents, staff, and visitors is our priority. ”
Legionella is a bacteria that can lead to Legionnaires' disease, a serious type of pneumonia, according to the CDC.
The emergency order includes a suspension of any new admissions to Apple Rehab in Rocky Hill, required use of bottled water, testing all residents for Legionella, and a review to identify any residents with pneumonia to determine the cause. The facility will also be required to decontaminate any possible sources of the Legionella and submit a comprehensive plan to correct deficiences to DPH by Friday.