News release: Public health lab continues recovering from water damage

News Release
January 7, 2014

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Public health lab continues recovering from water damage

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Public Health Laboratory continues to recover from water damages sustained early Monday when cold air caused portions of the heating system to freeze and then fail.

Crews from MDH and the Minnesota Department of Administration’s Plant Management have stabilized the heat in the building and begun to repair broken portions of the heating system. They are in the process of removing damaged building materials and repairing electrical equipment. Full restoration of the heating system is expected to be completed Wednesday.

The infectious disease and newborn screening laboratories may be able to reopen tomorrow (Wednesday) but it could take day a day or two for laboratory equipment to be fully functional. The second-floor environmental lab, which sustained the worst damage, will take longer to recover. Crews there are working to recover functions as quickly as possible.

Lab officials said no samples or specimens were lost or damaged in the water leaks because they are kept in secure storage units. However, testing on them could be delayed, affecting the validity of the test results.


Media inquiries:

Doug Schultz
MDH Communications