September 18, 2020
Media Contact: Larry Hill, Eastern Region PIO, (757) 683-9175
VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH CLOSES PORTION OF THE YORK RIVER, BACK CREEK, POQUOSON RIVER, AND THE CHESAPEAKE BAY CREEK TO SHELLFISH HARVESTING
(RICHMOND, Va.)— The Virginia Department of Health announced today that a portion of the York River, Back Creek, Poquoson River, and The Chesapeake Bay in York County are temporarily closed to shellfish harvesting due to a spill of raw sewage impacting water quality in the area. Due to potential microbiological pollution hazards, shellfish taken from areas affected by the emergency closure are currently unacceptable for consumption.
The temporary emergency closure is effective September 18, 2020, and is scheduled to reopen effective October 9, 2020. The Division of Shellfish Safety will monitor the shellfish and water quality during this period to determine if the area can be reopened sooner.
A map of the affected area is posted on the Division of Shellfish Safety’s home page at www.vdh.virginia.gov/Shellfish/. The affected shellfish are bivalve mollusks including oysters and clams, but not crabs or fin fish.
Ingesting shellfish taken from the closed areas at this time could cause gastrointestinal illnesses including Norovirus, Hepatitis A and Shigellosis.
For more information on shellfish closures, see the frequently asked questions on shellfish condemnations at http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/environmental-health/shellfish-sanitation/frequentlyasked-questions/.