LONG BEACH, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — The boil water advisory that was put in place in Long Beach after a water sample tested positive for E. coli and a student was diagnosed with a possible E. coli infection and forced the closure of some Nassau County schools has been lifted.
Officials made the announcement Monday morning after Long Beach administrators sent a letter to parents saying East, West and Lindell elementary schools would be closed Monday.
“Although we can provide adequate bottled water for students and staff to drink, we cannot guarantee proper handwashing among students,” the letter continued. “Even though this is really precautionary, and we have been assured by the city that they hope that the alert will be lifted soon, we do not want to take any chances with the health and safety of our students and staff.”
A boil water advisory had been in place since Friday afternoon. The state’s Office of Emergency Management stepped in to provide more than 100,000 bottles of water.
“Long Beach has already raised the chlorine level. They raised it immediately, and are currently flushing out the entire water system,” Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said.
Web Extra: Long Beach Ends Boil Order Over E. Coli In Drinking Water:
It usually takes about three days to show signs of E. coli exposure. Symptoms can include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting and fever.
Alexis Pace said her daughter was diagnosed with a possible infection.
“Extremely ill. She was in the hospital treated for dehydration. Can’t get off the toilet,” Pace said.
“It’s a problem for me, because I have an autoimmune disease, so I have to be really careful,” Long Beach resident Andrea Kaiser said.
“We have a 1 1/2-year-old son, Lucas, as you can see here. He has been bathing in boiled water for the past three days, which is either too cold or too hot and uncomfortable,” Lauren Doddato-Goldman told CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff.
Only boiled or bottled water should be used for drinking, brushing your teeth and preparing food.
“Dumped the ice out of my machine in the freezer, filled it with a bag of ice,” resident Rick Kaiser said.
“We had to throw out all the things that touched water. We had to boil water to cook with it,” said diner owner Katarina Langis. “We used a lot of disposable things today, because it was too much to wash everything.”
Langis said the timing of it all was especially bad for business.
“Pride weekend is coming up. We were geared up for that, preparing for that, and then this happened. So we have to make sure we have our ducks in a row. Otherwise, it could be a drastic loss,” she said.
“It’s been hard. We have no coffee. Since the weekend, no ice coffee. My customers left because of it, so we lost a lot of business, unfortunately,” Christine O’Connor, manager of Beach Bagel and Deli, told Gusoff.
The school year is still expected to wrap up Wednesday.
For more information, contact the City of Long Beach at (516) 431-1000.