Algal Mat Alerts Lifted for the North Fork of the Shenandoah River 

Algal Mat Alerts Lifted for the North Fork of the Shenandoah River near Town of Strasburg, VA – 2022 Harmful Algal Response Season Complete

November 4, 2022
Media Contact: Lorrie Andrew-Spear, Lorrie.Andrew-Spear@vdh.virginia.gov

(Strasburg, Va.) – An Algal Mat Alert which was issued for the North Fork Shenandoah River for the Town of Strasburg in July and August has been lifted due to the discontinuation of HAB Response for the season (May – October). The HAB Task Force suspends response sampling at the end of October each year, when the recreational (swimming) season concludes and as temperatures begin cooling in natural waters. This enables conservation of response resources for peak swimming use. Algae mats which may still be sporadically present in October/November in areas of a waterbody may persist into late fall and possibly winter months. While cyanobacteria concentrations fluctuate during seasonal transitions, resources are not available to continue the response efforts in off-season months.

The original mat alert area began above the town at approximately Route 644 (Deep Hollow Lane), to include the Deer Rapids Road Bridge, to below the town at approximately Route 611 (Long Meadow Road), for a total of approximately 11.5 miles. No additional sampling in this vicinity could be conducted due to limited resources however recent reported observations suggest the mats have largely dissipated. The public should use caution while recreating in this vicinity and avoid algal mats if they are observed present along the bottom of the river or along shorelines.

The public, in general, is advised to avoid areas in natural waterways that have algal mats or discolored, scummy water. People should not allow pets to swim in areas where mat material is observed. Contact with these mats may cause skin rash and gastrointestinal illnesses, such as upset stomach, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. If mats are producing toxins, consumption of mats could be fatal to dogs and other animals when ingested. Humans should never consume water or material from a natural waterbody because this water is not treated water and is not suitable for consumption.

VDH has observed no evidence of impacts to drinking water. The Office of Drinking Water is working with drinking water utilities to protect drinking water sources.

Algae mats typically occur when warm water and nutrients combine to make conditions favorable for algae growth. While late fall and winter blooms are uncommon, they may occur. Most algae species are harmless; however, some species may produce irritating compounds or toxins. Avoid discolored water, scums or mat material that are green or bluish-green because they are more likely to contain toxins.

To prevent illness, people should:

  • Avoid contact with mats which may be present in North Fork Shenandoah River above and below the Town of Strasburg.
  • If mats are unavoidable, do not attempt to recreate in the waterbody.
  • WHEN IN DOUBT, KEEP PEOPLE AND PETS OUT! Use your best judgment before recreating in natural water bodies.
  • Do not allow children or pets to drink from natural bodies of water or consume material in the water or along the shoreline.
  • Keep small children, pets, and livestock out of the areas experiencing an Algal Mat Alert. They do not understand the risks associated with mats and may drink river water or consume mats which could cause illness.
  • If you or your animals experience symptoms after swimming in or near the area under an Algal Mat Alert, seek medical/veterinarian care. You may also contact your local poison control center.
  • Additional resources for pet owners and veterinarians are available from the CDC at www.cdc.gov/habs/specific-groups/veterinarians-cyanobacteria.html
  • To ensure fish filets are safe to eat, properly clean fish by removing skin, discarding all internal organs, and cooking fish to the proper temperature.
  • To view the Algal Mat Alert area, view the HAB Map online or the Algal Mat Status Report for the North Fork Shenandoah River 8.5.22.
  • If you suspect you or your animal experienced health-related effects following exposure to a bloom, contact the Virginia Harmful Algal Bloom Hotline at 1-888-238-6154.

For more information about harmful algae blooms, Algal Mat Alerts and Recreational Water Advisories, visit www.SwimHealthyVA.com.

Employment Opportunities – Updated 9/26/2022

Updated September 26, 2022 – All positions must be applied through the Virginia Jobs Website.  Click on the link provided to take you the description and application.  


Office Services Specialist   314506

The Lord Fairfax Health District is seeking an Office Support Specialist for our Shenandoah County office. This position will primarily be based in the Shenandoah County office but will serve all offices within the district (Counties of Clarke, Frederick, Page, Shenandoah and Warren and the City of Winchester). This position will be responsible for the day to day operations of the medical business.  Click on View Details below or go to https://virginiajobs.peopleadmin.com/postings/314506

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Office Services Specialist   314505
The Lord Fairfax Health District is seeking an Office Support Specialist for our Page County office. This position will primarily be based in the Page County office but will serve all offices within the district (Counties of Clarke, Frederick, Page, Shenandoah and Warren and the City of Winchester). This position will be responsible for the day to day operations of the medical business.  Click on View Details below or go to https://virginiajobs.peopleadmin.com/postings/314505

Senior Office Services Supervisor (LFX)   316586

he Lord Fairfax Health District is seeking a dedicated Office Services Supervisor Senior to join our team in the Administration Department.

The Office Services Supervisor Senior position is based in Shenandoah County and supervises employees performing administrative, fiscal, and/or clerical functions for our Clarke County, Frederick County, Page County, Shenandoah County, Warren County, and Winchester City Health Departments. This position is responsible for supervising functions such as environmental health and medical polices and processes. Typical duties include determining priorities and schedules; reviewing work; training, performance managing, and formally evaluating employees; evaluating and improving office productivity by recommending organizational changes if necessary for each office or operational area supervised; interprets and implements state and local policies and procedures; assures compliance with program requirements; directly performs more complex clerical duties, and collects and analyzes data.  Click on View Details below or go to https://virginiajobs.peopleadmin.com/postings/316586

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Nutritionist Associate (00079)   310641

The Lord Fairfax Health District is currently seeking a full-time Nutritionist Associate.  This position will be located in the Shenandoah Office serving Shenandoah County and will at times be required to travel to all offices in the district.  This secondary level position provides WIC clerical and nutrition services within the district.  Click on View Details below or go to https://virginiajobs.peopleadmin.com/postings/310641



Nutritionist
(04861)   310639
This position is a full time salaried position as a Nutritionist State position located in the Warren County Health Department.  The Nutritionist position will serve the Warren and Page County clients, with occasional travel required to all offices in the district. The schedule may include daytime Monday through Friday with occasional weekend health promotion activity such as health fairs or…   Click on View Details below or go to https://virginiajobs.peopleadmin.com/postings/310639


Public Health District Director
(Physician Manager, MD/DO)   309724   (Closes October 15, 2022)

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) is seeking an accomplished professional to serve as the District Director and physician leader of the Lord Fairfax Health District (LFHD), headquartered at 107 N Kent St, Winchester, VA. The LFHD is one of thirty-five health districts in the Commonwealth of Virginia, providing public health services to the City of Winchester and the counties of Clarke, Frederick, Page, Shenandoah and Warren, and the city of Winchester.  Click on View Details below or go to https://virginiajobs.peopleadmin.com/postings/309724

Nutritionist (LF023)   302866

The Lord Fairfax Health District is seeking an enthusiastic team member to join the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program in the Shenandoah County Health Department. This position is a full-time salaried Nutritionist position serving the WIC participants of Shenandoah County.  Provides nutrition to clients in a variety of settings within the district. Click on View Details below or go to https://virginiajobs.peopleadmin.com/postings/302866

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Monkeypox Update!

Monkeypox does not spread from person to person through casual conversation or by walking by
someone who is infected. The risk to the community is considered low at this time.

Monkeypox can be spread from person to person by sexual or intimate contact, hugging, cuddling, and
massage, and by sharing a towel or clothing that has not been washed.

Most people who have become infected with monkeypox had close or intimate contact or prolonged face
to face contact with an infected person. Spread can occur from touching skin lesions, bodily fluids, or parts
of clothing or linens that have been in contact with lesions or bodily fluids.

Monkeypox can be prevented by avoiding close, skin to skin contact with another person’s rash or scabs.
It can also be prevented by avoiding kissing, cuddling, or having sex with someone who is infected. Don’t
share bedding, towels, or personal grooming devices and don’t share eating utensils or cups.

If you think you have monkeypox, seek medical advice by contacting your healthcare provider.

Visit the Virginia Department of Health Website: : vdh.virginia.gov/monkeypox

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Monkeypox Update – Vaccine Access

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and the Lord Fairfax Health District are responding to an outbreak of monkeypox that has spread across several countries that don’t normally report monkeypox, including the United States. For information on monkeypox in Virginia, please visit the VDH monkeypox website. If you are a healthcare provider, please visit the monkeypox website for healthcare providers

The Lord Fairfax Health District is working to ensure that residents who have been exposed or are at high risk of being exposed to monkeypox receive a vaccination.  If you are interested in receiving a monkeypox vaccination, please call us at (540) 722-3470

 

The Lord Fairfax Health District: Protecting You and Your Environment