2018 News Releases

December 7, 2018

Virginia Health Officials Release Adult Tobacco Use Survey Results

(Richmond, Va.) – The Virginia Department of Health has released results from the 2016-2017 Virginia Adult Tobacco Survey. more>>


November 15, 2018

Governor’s EMS Award Winners Announced at the 39th Annual Virginia EMS Symposium

(RICHMOND, Va.) – The 2018 Governor’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Award winners were announced at the 39th Annual Governor’s EMS Awards Ceremony in Norfolk, Virginia. These awards, given in Governor Ralph Northam’s name, recognize outstanding EMS providers and organizations from across the Commonwealth for their demonstrated level of excellence and dedication to the EMS system. more>>


November 14, 2018

Teen Cigarette Smoking Hits Record Low in Virginia
More high school students still use alcohol, marijuana, e-cigarettes

(Richmond, Va.)– Teen cigarette smoking in Virginia is at an all-time low – 6.5 percent — according to the results of the 2017 Virginia Youth Survey, which is conducted by the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and supported by the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth (VFHY). Nationally an estimated 7.6 percent of high school students are current cigarette smokers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). more>>


November 1, 2018

Virginia Receives CDC Grants to Continue the Fight against Opioid Overdose Epidemic

(Richmond, Va.) The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and the Department of Forensic Science (DFS) have received $4.9 million from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  The two, one-year grants are to advance the understanding of the opioid overdose epidemic and to increase prevention and response activities, including improving the timeliness and quality of surveillance data as part of the public health crisis response mechanism. more>>


October 5, 2018

Health Officials Warn of Increased Risk of WNV Transmission in Virginia

(Richmond, Va.) As of October 1, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) has identified a record number of human West Nile virus (WNV) cases.  VDH has received reports of WNV from multiple regions of the state for a combined total of 38 human cases in 2018. more>>


October 3, 2018

State Health Officials Urge Virginians to Get Flu Vaccine
Leaders focus on the importance of getting vaccinated annually.

(Richmond, Va.)—With the 2018-2019 flu season officially underway, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) encourages all people in Virginia six months and older to receive their annual influenza vaccine. State health officials gathered Wednesday, October 3, to highlight the importance of the vaccine and to receive a flu shot themselves. more>>


October 3, 2018

Virginia Launches $6 Million Contraceptive Initiative
Long-acting reversible contraceptives access expands among low-income women

(RICHMOND, Va.)— Virginians now have greater access to family planning options. October launches the beginning of Virginia’s long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) initiative. Up to $6 million will be awarded to one dozen qualified health care providers to provide LARCs to patients through May 2020. Virginia’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant funds this initiative to decrease the number of unintended pregnancies and improve birth outcomes. In 2015, an estimated 49 percent of Virginia women reported that their pregnancy was unintended. more>>


 

October 1, 2018

Updated Advisory – Harmful Algae Bloom Occurring on Pamunkey and North Anna Branches and Fisherman’s Cove – Lake Anna In Orange, Louisa and Spotsylvania Counties

(Richmond, Va.) – Locations within Lake Anna in Orange, Louisa and Spotsylvania counties continue to experience a harmful algae bloom (HAB). This will be the final press release issued for advisory updates. more>>


September 23-29, 2018

Virginia Honors Legacy of Henrietta Lacks

(RICHMOND, Va.) – Members of the Henrietta Lacks Commission are to be sworn in and convene for the first time Wednesday, September 26, 2018. Earlier this year, Governor Ralph Northam signed into law the creation of the Henrietta Lacks Commission, a board tasked with developing and implementing a plan to construct a biomedical cancer research and treatment center in Halifax County named in honor of Henrietta Lacks, an African-American woman and native Virginian whose cells became the first immortal human cell line. more>>


September 17, 2018

Virginia Department of Health Sends Public Health Nurses to Support N.C.  

(Richmond, Va.)– The Virginia Department of Health (VDH), Fairfax County Health Department, and Arlington County Health Department is sending 35 public health nurses to provide health and medical support at emergency shelters throughout North Carolina following the onslaught of Hurricane Florence. The first cohort of 22 nurses deployed from various parts of the state on Sunday, September 16. The teams are comprised of Virginia Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) Volunteers, Public Health Nurses from Arlington and Fairfax Health Departments and various other VDH local health departments. more>>


September 17, 2018

Governor Northam Designates September 16–22 as Forensic Science and Medicine Week

(Richmond, Va.)—Governor Ralph Northam has issued a proclamation declaring the week of September 16–22, 2018 as Forensic Science and Medicine Week in Virginia. Forensic science and forensic medicine play critical roles in the investigation of criminal activity, the determination of cause and manner of death, and the administration of justice in the Commonwealth. more>>


September 13, 2018

State Health Officials Stress Awareness of Hazards During and After the Storm

(Richmond, Va.)— The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) urges the public to make final preparations for shelter and supplies today and early tomorrow, ahead of Hurricane Florence’s expected landfall Friday, September 14. It is also important to prepare for what the storm leaves behind and to be aware of the health and safety risks that windswept debris, floodwaters, and power outages may pose to your family and the community. more>>


September 8, 2018

Updated Advisory – Harmful Algae Bloom Occurring on Pamunkey and North Anna Branches – Lake Anna In Orange, Louisa and Spotsylvania Counties
Public Advised to Avoid Water Contact within Locations of the Lake

(Richmond, Va.) – Locations within Lake Anna in Orange, Louisa and Spotsylvania counties are experiencing a harmful algae bloom (HAB). Some harmful algae, called cyanobacteria, can cause skin rash and gastrointestinal illnesses, such as upset stomach, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. The public is advised to avoid contact with the lake in some areas until algae concentrations return to acceptable levels. Advisory signs have been posted at some areas using buoys. Some signage has been posted at area marinas and private lots fronting “no-swimming advisory” locations where permission could be granted. more>>


August 31, 2018

Aug. 31 Advisory Update: Ongoing Harmful Algae Bloom on Segments of Lake Anna In Orange, Louisa and Spotsylvania Counties
Public Advised to Avoid Water Contact within Locations of the Lake

(Richmond, Va.) – All previous advisories on the Pamunkey and North Anna Branches of Lake Anna in Orange, Louisa and Spotsylvania counties remain in effect. For details on those areas, see the Aug. 24 news release. Due to new reports, additional areas on Lake Anna were sampled on August 28, 2018. more>>


August 28, 2018

Virginia Department of Health Reports West Nile Virus Cases

(Richmond, Va.) – The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) advises citizens that the summer heat this week is a reminder that mosquito season is still here. VDH has received reports of WNV from multiple regions of the state for a combined total of 12 human cases in 2018. more>>


August 24, 2018

Updated Advisory – Harmful Algae Bloom Occurring on Pamunkey and North Anna Branches – Lake Anna In Orange, Louisa and Spotsylvania Counties
Public Advised to Avoid Water Contact within Locations of the Lake

(Richmond, Va.) –The Pamunkey and North Anna Branches of Lake Anna in Orange, Louisa and Spotsylvania counties are experiencing a harmful algae bloom (HAB). The public is advised to avoid contact with the lake in some areas until algae concentrations return to acceptable levels. Some harmful algae, called cyanobacteria, can cause skin rash and gastrointestinal illnesses, such as upset stomach, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. more>>


August 18, 2018

Harmful Algae Bloom Occurring on Pamunkey and North Anna Branches – Lake Anna In Orange, Louisa and Spotsylvania Counties
Public Advised to Avoid Water Contact within Locations of the Lake

(Richmond, Va.) –The Pamunkey and North Anna Branches of Lake Anna in Orange, Louisa and Spotsylvania counties are experiencing a harmful algae bloom (HAB). The public is advised to avoid contact with the lake in some areas until algae concentrations return to acceptable levels. Some harmful algae, called cyanobacteria, can cause skin rash and gastrointestinal illnesses, such as upset stomach, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. more>>


July 6, 2018

Virginia Department of Health Reopens a Portion of the Rappahannock River to Shellfish Harvesting 

(RICHMOND, Va.)— The Virginia Department of Health announced today that the remaining portion of the Rappahannock River closed to shellfish harvesting on June 23 due to flooding was reopened effective Friday July 6, 2018. more>>


July 2, 2018

Virginia Department of Health Reopens a Portion of the Rappahannock River to Shellfish Harvesting

(RICHMOND, Va.)— The Virginia Department of Health announced today that a portion of the Rappahannock River closed to shellfish harvesting on June 23 due to flooding was reopened effective Monday July 2, 2018. The VDH Division of Shellfish Sanitation has monitored water quality in the river since the flooding occurred. more>>


June 23, 2018

Virginia Department of Health Closes a Portion of the Rappahannock River to Shellfish Harvesting

(RICHMOND, Va.)— The Virginia Department of Health announced today that a portion of the Rappahannock River will be closed to shellfish harvesting due to flooding. The emergency closure is effective June 23 through July 13, 2018, though the area may be reopened earlier if water quality monitoring results indicate that the area is no longer unsafe. more>>


May 21, 2018

Emergency Medical Services Week Recognizes the Dedication and Courage of Virginia’s EMS Providers
May 20 – 26 is National EMS Week

(RICHMOND, Va.) – When you dial 911 for help you don’t have time to think about what it takes to save a life, but you are comforted in knowing that medical providers will quickly respond to your emergency. These first responders are Virginia’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) providers and they are part of one of the greatest EMS systems in the nation. They are the heroes who train regularly to maintain their continuing education so that they can provide the best prehospital patient care, they work through holidays and long shifts, and they bravely dedicate their lives to saving others. Last year, EMS providers responded to more than 1.46 million calls for help in Virginia, approximately 4,000 incidents per day. more>>


May 20, 2018

Virginia Department of Health Encourages Everyone to “Swim Healthy. Stay Healthy.”
Healthy and Safe Swimming Week begins May 21

(Richmond, Va.)— The week leading up to Memorial Day, May 21-27, is designated Healthy and Safe Swimming Week (HSSW) in Virginia and throughout the nation. HSSW focuses on the steps everyone can take to have a healthy and safe swimming experience.  Public pools and beaches around Virginia begin to open in late May, making this the ideal time to talk about ways to reduce the risk of recreational water-associated illness, drowning, and injury in our communities. Water is not only fun to play and cool off in, but just a few hours of water-based physical activity per week can offer low-impact health benefits for everyone! more>>


May 18, 2018

Virginia Department of Health Urges Caution Following Heavy Rains

(Richmond, Va.)— Following heavy rain events this week, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) reminds people to take precautions to avoid flooded areas, and once the sun comes out, be aware of potential health risks before you participate in recreational water activities.  more>>


May 17, 2018

State Health Officials Announce Expanded Collaboration with Walgreens
No-cost, rapid Hepatitis C Virus testing now offered at select Walgreens in Virginia.

(Richmond, Va.) – For more than three years, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) has collaborated with Walgreens to provide free, rapid HIV testing at 30 of the company’s stores across Virginia. Today, this collaboration is expanding to provide free, rapid Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) testing by Walgreens pharmacists in 10 of those locations. Appointments are not necessary and all testing will be done in private consultation rooms near the pharmacy.  Test results can be provided while you wait. more>>


May 17, 2018

Virginia Department of Health Expands Closure of the Back River and Tributaries to Shellfish Harvesting

(RICHMOND, Va.)— The Virginia Department of Health announced an expansion of the shellfish harvesting area closure issued on Wednesday, May 16, 2018, involving the Back River and tributaries in the city of Hampton due to an updated report on the volume of the raw sewage spill. An additional 2,821 acres of bottomland will be closed to shellfish harvesting due to potential contamination from the sewage spill. more>>


May 16, 2018

Virginia Department of Health Closes a Portion of the Back River to Shellfish Harvesting

(RICHMOND, Va.)— The Virginia Department of Health announced today that a portion of Back River in the City of Hampton will be closed to shellfish harvesting due to potential contamination from a sewage spill. more>>


May 10, 2018

Virginia Department of Health Announces Public Health Nurse of the Year

(Marion, Va.)— The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) today presented its 2018 Public Health Nurse of the Year award to Angela Alley, RN, who works as a Public Health Nurse Senior and Immunization Action Plan Coordinator in the Mount Rogers Health District. Alley has served in this position since 2013. She began her career with the Mount Rogers Health District as a public health nurse in 1986. more>>


March 14, 2018

2018 County Health Rankings Show How Virginia Is Improving

New report ranks localities in Virginia by health outcomes and health factors

(Richmond, Va.)— Loudoun County ranks healthiest in Virginia, according to the ninth annual County Health Rankings, released today by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute (UWPHI). The Rankings are available at www.countyhealthrankings.org. more>>