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Health Advisory: Local Legionellosis Update

(Ithaca, N.Y., October 13, 2023) – Tompkins County Whole Health (TCWH) is providing an update to the community on recentcases of legionellosis.

During August and September, two (2) additional cases of legionellosis were reported in Tompkins County, bringing the total number of cases in the County to fourteen (14) since June 2023, with one (1) death. There have been no additional cases since mid-September.

While legionellosis can be contracted from a variety of sources, in New York State, cooling towers are a more common source of Legionella in the summer months, with most cooling towers in and around Ithaca starting up in April and shutting down in mid to late October. Staff from the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) and TCWH’s Environmental Health Division have evaluated and sampled multiple cooling towers. Remediation and precautionary disinfection were performed on several cooling towers in the area. Owners of the cooling towers and their service providers have worked closely with NYSDOH and TCWH to ensure appropriate treatment and follow-up testing are completed. Environmental monitoring will continue to be conducted as the Legionella season comes to an end.

TCWH’s Medical Director, Dr. William Klepack stated, “We are nearing the end of the legionellosis season. While we have seen a higher-than-normal case rate in our county this year, our Environmental Health and Community Health Services teams have worked diligently with our NYSDOH colleagues to monitor and address Legionella in our community, and cooling tower operators have responded swiftly to remediate as needed.”

Learn more about online at: Legionellosis (Legionnaires’ Disease) | Tompkins County NY.

Tompkins County Whole Health (formerly the Tompkins County Health Department) envisions a future where every person in Tompkins County can achieve wellness. Find us online at, and follow us on Facebook at and on Twitter at @TCWholeHealth. Get Whole Health updates or other county announcements via email or text, sign up here.

Media contact: Shannon Alvord,