October 26, 2012
Dear OPRF High School Parents/Guardians and Staff,
Earlier this school year, OPRFHS began a voluntary, proactive program of water-quality testing throughout the building. Although this testing is not required by law, nor undertaken in response to reported concerns, we believe it is an important part of what we do to maintain a healthful school environment.
This morning we were notified that traces of Legionella bacteria were found in a shower head both the freshman boys’ and freshman girls’ locker rooms. We immediately isolated and closed these showers. As a precautionary measure, we also closed the other showers as well, until we could thoroughly consult with experts about the appropriate next steps.
In very rare circumstances Legionella may cause Legionnaires’ disease, a respiratory illness. We have had no reported cases of Legionnaires’ disease among our students or staff.
After consulting with both the Oak Park Department of Public Health and the Illinois Department of Public Health, we were assured that Legionella commonly is found in water and water fixtures, and that it is safe for students to continue using other showers, which were not found to contain the bacteria.
We are working with our water-technology consultant to thoroughly disinfect and sanitize the affected showers. Following this remediation process, they will remain closed through next week as we await test results. Physical Education activities will be adjusted accordingly. We also will be sure to let you know when the showers will be reopened.
In the meantime, if you have any questions, please feel free to contact Communications Director Karin Sullivan, Principal Nate Rouse, or me.
Dr. Steven Isoye