Total Coliform Bacteria

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The MI Dept. of Environmental Quality has detected total coliform bacteria in the water supply of the Sparrow Dimondale Nursing Center. But this doesn't necessarily mean it's what caused more than 100 residents and staff to get sick with the Norwalk virus.

The Ingham County Health Department says the Norwalk virus was probably spread person to person and that it was brought from the outside. If it was contaminated water that got people sick, the virus would have hit all at once and not over the last 10 days. In addition, it seems most of those who are or have been sick are living on the second floor. If water was the source, everyone around the facility would be sick.

Bottled water has been brought in for consumption and water from the tap must be boiled. Right now, a cleaning process is taking place to remove the bacteria from the system.

Visitors have not been allowed in to the facility since the Norwalk virus outbreak started. Staff would not name a specific date as to when visitors would be allowed to see their family members, but those coming from out of state have been able to make special arrangements for visitation.

A meeting to discuss the situation with concerned family members will be held on Saturday, Dec. 21 at 9 a.m. at the Sparrow Auditorium.