Allegheny County – August 23, 2023 – Today, State Senator Wayne Fontana issued the following statement after Legionella bacteria found at Lancaster County Prison led to a positive case of Legionnaires’ disease. This follows a positive case of Legionnaires’ disease at the State Correctional Institution at Rockview (Centre County) in May:

Legionnaires’ disease, though deadly when untreated, is preventable.

The number of people sickened with Legionnaires’ disease has been on the rise for the past 20 years, especially in Pennsylvania. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), case rates in the commonwealth have increased 65.9% over five years. Despite the very real public health risk, Pennsylvania has no comprehensive plan or requirements for managing or testing for this deadly disease.

Understanding the importance of preventing a deadly outbreak, I and Senator Ryan Aument (R-Lancaster) introduced legislation that would address this oversight by putting into place standards that prioritizes the heath of safety of the state’s residents.

Thankfully, the individual infected with Legionnaires’ has recovered. But it should not take a needless death to cause the state to act. I am hopeful that Senate Bill 571 will be considered soon.

The co-sponsorship memo for Senate Bill 571 can be found here.