Racing to resume at Mountaineer

CHESTER, W.Va. — A month after four employees fell ill with Legionnaires’ disease, racing at Mountaineer Race Track, Casino and Resort will resume this weekend.

In a statement released Wednesday, Mountaineer officials announced the track reopen for races Sunday.

The track’s clubhouse and grandstand facilities were voluntarily closed by Mountaineer officials after some of the employees were hospitalized. Lab results received by the health department confirmed that four people tested positive for legionella.

On Oct. 27, track officials issued a statement saying racing had been suspended through Nov. 7 in order to conduct “some improvements at our racetrack,” but on Wednesday Mountaineer officials acknowledged several employees had fallen ill with the disease, resulting in the grandstand and clubhouse’s closure.

Track officials said they had been working with county health officials over the matter and believe there is no further threat of the disease at their facility.

“To help protect our employees and guests, we worked with public health officials and other water experts in taking steps to have safe water,” the statement read. “We no longer believe there is an increased risk of getting Legionnaires’ disease from our clubhouse or grandstand facilities.”

The casino, hotel and restaurants were not affected by the outbreak.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Legionnaires’ disease is a form of pneumonia caused by the legionella bacteria, which is severe and can be fatal.

The bacteria — which does not usually spread from person to person — is found in freshwater environments like lakes and streams, and can also be found in places such as showerheads, sink faucets, cooling towers, hot tubs, decorative fountains, water features, hot water tanks, heaters and large plumbing systems.

Some symptoms include coughing, shortness of breath, fever, muscle aches, headaches, diarrhea, nausea and confusion.

Mountaineer officials said should anyone develop these symptoms after visiting their facilities, they are urged to seek immediate medical treatment.