Lacey motel that closed for Legionnaires' disease probe reopens after treatment

OLYMPIA -- The Super 8 motel on College Street in Lacey, which closed after an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease, has reopened after completing water treatment recommendations by Thurston County, it was announced Friday.

Legionnaires’ disease is a serious form of pneumonia that is caused by Legionella bacteria, which is usually found in water.

The Thurston County Health Department first announced two cases of Legionnaires’ disease that were potentially linked to the motel on June 26, and a third case was identified on July 1.

The motel voluntarily closed July 2 for an investigation into the outbreak.

The county said that, prior to guests returning to the motel, treatment of the water supply system was recommended, focusing on the plumbing, ice machines, pool and spa. County health officials verified that all of those recommendations were completed on July 10.

“We really appreciate the motel’s cooperation with us throughout our investigation, and for working with us to protect public health,” said Dr. Rachel Wood, Thurston County health officer. “They worked quickly to implement the recommendations and I’m glad to see them reopen.”

Guests, staff and contractors who were in the motel before July 10, when treatment recommendations were completed, are advised to monitor their health for symptoms of the disease for 10 days after last being in the motel and to contact their health care provider if they become ill.

Symptoms of Legionnaires’ disease include fever, tiredness, body aches and headache, cough, chest pain and diarrhea. People who stayed at the motel are not at risk of spreading Legionnaires’ disease to other people. The bacteria are not spread from person to person.

Wood said an environmental assessment of the motel was done to identify the possible source of the outbreak. Final results of that sampling process are not yet available.