St. Columbkille Parish received notification on Aug. 8 that the results of the Cuyahoga County Board of Health’s latest round of legionella testing of samples from various sources in the church building, including the air handling units, a drinking fountain in the basement, and hand sinks came back negative for the presence of viable legionella. Although the test indicated the presence of non-viable legionella bacteria (dead cells) in the basement drinking fountain, the Board of Health has explained that legionella can naturally occur in freshwater environments and that the drinking fountain may remain in service. Additionally, there have been no new reported legionella cases involving St. Columbkille parishioners.
As a proactive measure, the parish has already engaged Osborn Engineering to conduct a thorough review of the church’s air conditioning system and to advise the parish regarding the implementation of the Board of Health’s recommendations. Osborn Engineering is a recognized expert in this field with expertise and experience in the management of legionella.
Following the Board of Health’s request, the church building air conditioning will remain out of service until the parish has addressed the Board of Health’s recommendations. After consultation with the Board of Health, Mass and other parish activities continue to go on uninterrupted and plans are on track for the regularly scheduled opening of the school later this month.
St. Columbkille Parish is committed to the safety of its parishioners and all who may visit the parish. As such, the parish is grateful to the Board of Health for their careful review and testing work, and for their guidance and collaboration in ensuring a safe environment for all. Going forward, the parish will continue to work closely with its consulting experts and provide updates to the Board of Health.