Press Releases


DPH Issues Emergency Order to Rocky Hill Nursing Home After Water Samples Test Positive for Legionella

The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) has issued an emergency order by Acting Commissioner Deidre S. Gifford, directing immediate actions by the Apple Rehab nursing home in Rocky Hill after the facility failed to respond adequately to drinking and bathing water samples testing positive for Legionella.  

The actions include a suspension of new admissions and remedial actions to protect the health and safety of residents.  Apple Rehab is a 120-bed chronic and convalescent nursing home that currently has 64 residents. 

In 2017 and 2018, the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid directed that skilled nursing facilities must develop and adhere to policies and procedures that inhibit microbial growth in building water systems that reduce the risk of growth and spread of Legionella and other opportunistic pathogens in water.  However, during an investigation of the water management program at Apple Rehab of Rocky Hill, DPH noted several failures.  These failures included, but were not limited to, failing to maintain a water management plan to mitigate the risk of Legionella and other waterborne pathogens; and failure 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 waterborne pathogen diseases and infections.  

The DPH emergency order includes:  prohibition of admission of new residents; requirement to use bottled water; retrospective surveillance review to identify residents with pneumonia of unknown etiology; testing of all residents for Legionella; environmental assessments and sampling activities; establishment of a water sampling plan; remediation/decontamination of possible environmental sources when identified; contracting with an independent contractor with expertise in waterborne pathogens to conduct a water management review, remediation and to repair/replace/correct identified deficiencies; provision of a comprehensive plan of correction to DPH by April 16.

“DPH will continue to closely monitor this deeply concerning situation and take further action, if necessary, to protect the health and safety of residents,” Commissioner Gifford said.  

For a copy of the DPH emergency order, click here.