ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) -- The hotel at the epicenter of a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak in downtown Atlanta reopened Thursday afternoon.
The outbreak, which began over a month ago at the Sheraton Atlanta, is blamed for at least one death.
A guest who checked in Thursday evening told CBS46 News that he didn’t have any health concerns.
"Not worried a bit,” said Brian Walker. “The hotel is been cleared again. Hotel seems squeaky is clean and nice. It’s like a brand-new hotel, honestly. Staff’s been fantastic. I’m not worried at all.”
The Georgia Department of Public Health revealed the source of the Legionella bacteria.
Thursday, August 15th, GDH released a statement which reads in part:
“Environmental sampling results from the Sheraton Atlanta Hotel indicated the presence of Legionella bacteria in the hotel’s cooling tower and in a decorative fountain in the hotel atrium.”
Since the outbreak began, there have been 13 confirmed cases of Legionnaires’ disease, 66 probable cases, and one death.
The DeKalb County medical examiner’s office confirmed Cameo Garrett died July 9 due to complications from Legionella pneumonia after attending a conference at the hotel in late June.
The health department says inspectors allowed the hotel to reopen after corrections were made to the hotel’s water distribution system.
Sheraton Atlanta released the following statement:
"Sheraton Atlanta Hotel reopened today, with the support and concurrence of the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) and Fulton County Board of Health (FCBOH). An extensive investigation has identified no evidence of a risk of Legionella exposure at the hotel at this time. Periodic sampling and testing in accordance with DPH recommendations will continue.
Out of an abundance of caution, the hotel closed voluntarily on July 15 in response to information provided by DPH and FCBOH. For the past month, the hotel has worked closely with public health officials during an investigation of an outbreak of Legionnaires’ Disease.
During this time the hotel carried out: an environmental assessment of hotel water systems in conjunction with FCBOH and DPH; technical assessment and extensive environmental sampling and analysis completed by independent consultants and laboratories with expertise in remediation for and control of Legionella; and comprehensive remediation.”
Sheraton Atlanta Hotel looks forward to welcoming its valued guests and associates, and reopened with full services.
An extensive investigation has identified no evidence of a risk of Legionella exposure at the hotel at this time. Periodic sampling and testing in accordance with DPH recommendations will continue.