Toxic Mold outbreak
forces Mercy Care Center
Lincoln [Nebraska] Journal Star,
OMAHA -- More than 150 residents of a
care facility will have to find a new place to live because of possibly
unhealthy levels of mold.
Eight Mercy Care
Center residents already have been moved to an adjacent center because their
health conditions put them at higher risk of respiratory complications from
mold exposure. The remainder were asked Saturday to find a new place to live
in the next month.
Workers renovating two wings of the facility on Nov. 6
found substantial mold between the outer brick facade and the inner
drywall. Officials with Alegent Health, the facility's parent company,
decided Friday to close the facility after receiving a report on
airborne mold concentrations in the building.
Alegent officials also said they presume the mold is
growing throughout the uniformly constructed facility, even though it's
been found in only a few areas. The lack of a moisture barrier between
the interior and exterior walls is probably one cause for it, said Di
Smalley, an Alegent vice president.
Alegent officials said they didn't believe they could
renovate the building, even one wing at a time, without disrupting life
for all residents. They also did not know if they would keep the
building or tear it down.``We could not in good conscience put our
patients through that,'' Smalley said. ``We have to close the center at
State health officials were informed Friday, but did
not advise Alegent to close the facility, which has 135 long-term care
beds and 20 skilled nursing beds.