The Prince William Health District works in collaboration with local animal control officials. All animal bites involving humans must be reported to the Prince William County Police Department’s Animal Control Bureau at 703-792-6465 or to the Health District at 703-792-6310. Exposure of domestic animals to wild animals should also be reported. Wild animals that have bitten a person or pet should be euthanized and tested for rabies. Animals not apprehended should be considered rabid.
What is rabies?
Rabies is a deadly disease that is caused by a virus which attacks the brain and central nervous system, ultimately leading to death. The rabies virus is most commonly found in wildlife. Approximately 90% of all confirmed cases found in the United States are from wildlife. The virus is only found in the saliva and brain tissue of infected animals and is most often spread when the animal bites a human or pet.
The most common sources of rabies in the continental United States are raccoons, bats, skunks and foxes. In 2014, the Virginia Department of Health reported a total of 516 confirmed cases of rabies. Of the 516 total cases, 100 cases, roughly 20% were reported in Prince William (17) and the surrounding counties of Fauquier (13), Fairfax (47), Loudoun (19), and Stafford (4). This year, the Prince William Health District has confirmed 8 cases of rabies: 3 raccoons, 2 skunks, 1 fox, 1 bat and 1 feral cat (as of 09/15/2015). Seven of the eight confirmed cases in 2015 have been found in wild animals. Click here for additional rabies statics (2000-2015).
So what can you do to protect your family and your pets?
The Prince William Health District urges all pet owners to make sure that their cats and dogs are up to date on their rabies vaccinations. *In Virginia, all cats and dogs are legally required to have their first rabies vaccine by four months of age. The initial vaccine is only good/valid for ONE year. Please contact your veterinarian to check the status of your pet’s rabies vaccination.
What happens if my pet or I come into contact with a potentially rabid animal?
Virginia Code states that any pet that comes into contact with a potentially rabid, wild or stray animal may be subject to a confinement or “quarantine” period. Dogs and cats without a current rabies vaccination that are potentially exposed to the rabies virus are subject to six months of strict confinement/isolation or euthanasia. For those pets with current rabies vaccine, this observation period is far less strict and only 45 days in length. Click here for more information regarding Virginia’s rabies laws and regulations.
The Prince William Health District also asks residents to stay away from wild and stray animals. Please make sure to talk to your children about the importance of avoiding wild and stray animals. If you happen to come across a sick animal, stay away and call animal control immediately! Another important note, not all infected animals will act or look sick. This is why we ask that residents avoid all wild and stray animals.
Lastly, to reduce the likelihood of encountering a wild animal at your home it is recommended that you feed your pet indoors, secure all trash in animal proof containers and remove any debris that could serve as a home for wild or stray animals.
What should you do if you are bitten?
If you are bitten by an animal do not panic. Wash the wound(s) thoroughly with warm soapy water and contact animal control and your doctor or the Prince William Health District for further recommendations.
More information on the rabies virus and steps to control the spread can be found at the Virginia Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control.
Restaurant and Food Services
Food Service Facility Operations
The Prince William Health District regulates food service operations in restaurants, schools, childcare and adult care facilities, institutions, hospitals, hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts, youth athletic association food concessions, seasonal snack bars, parks, swimming pools, and temporary food facilities at fairs, festivals, carnivals and other special events. Most of these facilities are required to meet the Virginia Food Regulations. Prince William County also has local regulations for youth athletic association food concessions.
Food Service Facility Inspection
Food service inspections can be viewed online by selecting this link. Scroll down to Prince William Health Department and Click View Inspections. The frequency of food service facility inspections is based on the menu and the types of foods served as well as the extent of the preparation and processing of those food items. This “risk assessment” is determined by the use of potentially hazardous foods (PHF), the preparation of raw versus ready-to-eat food items, storage, cooking, cooling and the re-heating. Potentially hazardous foods are those that require time and/or temperature control for safety (examples include meat, poultry, seafood, and most dairy products).
Food Service Facility Plan Review
All proposed food service facilities require a formal plan review and approval by the Health District. An application and $40 plan review fee are required for all submitted plan reviews. A separate submittal should be made directly to the Health District to expedite the review process.
Food Service Complaints
To file a food service complaint, call the Environmental Health Division at 703-792-6310 (option #1) between 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. on normal business days and provide the complaint details. Local grocery stores and convenience stores are regulated by the Virginia Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services (VDACS). For more information regarding grocery stores and convenience stores, please call VDACS at 804-786-3520. The Office of the Attorney General Consumer Protection Hotline can be reached at 800-552-9963 (Hearing Impaired: 800-828-1120).
Forms and Documents
|View Food Service Facilities Inspection Records||Food Service Facilities Inspection Records|
|Application for Food Establishment Permit||Restaurant Application|
|Temporary Food Permit Applications and Requirements (with Spanish translation)||Temporary Food Application|
|Prince William County Code – Itinerant Vendors License Regulations||Prince William County Code|
|Guidance for Food Establishments Following a Power Outage/Flood||Guidance for Food Establishments|
|Resources for Foodservice Certification||Resources for Foodservice Certification
IMPORTANT – NEW Food Protection Manager Certification REQUIREMENT
Swimming Pools and Spas
The Prince William Health District inspects and annually permits more than 170 commercial swimming pools and spas. These pools are located at apartment and condominium complexes, local parks, hotels, motels, county clubs, and other private recreational clubs. Prince William County and the City of Manassas have local swimming pool regulations which primarily address water quality, pool patron safety and pool operator training. Also, the state requires that the pool and spa water quality be tested and posted on a placard at the pool.
Commercial pool owners are required to pay an annual permit fee of $350. Commercial pools are required to have a professionally trained Certified Pool Operator on site when the pool is in operation. Pool Operators are required to pay an annual $15 fee.
Proposed commercial swimming pool and spa construction plans require review and approval by the Prince William Health District.
Forms and Documents
|Pool Operator Application:||Swimming-Pool-Operator-Application|
|List of Approved Providers for Pool Operator Certification:||Approved Providers for Pool Operator Certification|
|Prince William County Park Authority Swimming Information:||Prince William Department of Parks & Recreation|
|CDC Information on Recreational Water Illness:||Recreational Water Illness – CDC Link|
|Prince William County Swimming Pool Code:||Prince William County Code, Chapter 25.1.|
|Application for Swimming Pool / Spa Annual Permit:||Swimming Pool Permit Application|
|Information on private swimming pools and steps to follow if property has an Onsite Sewage Disposal System:||Private Swimming Pools: Steps to Follow if Property has an Onsite Sewage Disposal System|
|Information on Swimming Pool Construction on Properties with On-Site Sewage Disposal:||Please contact the Department of Public Works at 703-792-6830.|
Hotels, Motels, Bed and Breakfasts and Campgrounds
Hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts and campgrounds are inspected annually by the Health District, which enforces the state regulations that address these facilities. The Prince William Health District will also respond to complaints regarding these facilities.
Forms and Documents
|Application for a Department of Health Permit||Application for a Department of Health Permit|
|State Regulations Regarding Hotels, Motels and Bed & Breakfast Facilities||Hotel, Motel, and Bed & Breakfast Regulations|
Massage Establishments and Therapists
Massage establishments are required to apply to the Health Department for a permit and pay a $204 fee for new applicants and a $153 fee thereafter to renew a permit. An inspection is made of the facility within three weeks after the application and fee are submitted. The facility must meet minimum lighting and ventilation requirements according to the Uniform Building Code; provide adequate equipment for disinfecting and sterilizing any instruments used; provide hot and cold running water; provide separate dressing, bathing, and toilet facilities for patrons segregated by gender; provide clean towels and linens for patrons receiving massage services; maintain the walls and the physical facility in good repair and in a sanitary condition. See the complete regulations linked below. Applications for Massage Establishments are processed at the Environmental Health Division – Onsite Sewage and Water Services location. Please call 703-792-6310 for additional information or assistance.
Massage Therapists are required to go through the Board of Nursing for certification. If you have questions, please call the Board of Nursing at 804-662-9909.
Forms and Documents
|Prince William County Massage Establishment Regulations:||Massage Establishment Regulations for Prince William County|
|Massage Establishment Application Form:||Massage Establishment Application Form|
Day Care Facilities
The Prince William Health District inspects and permits food preparation facilities within day care centers. Once a year, at the request of the Department of Social Services, the PWHD completes a general inspection of the entire facility. The PWHD will also respond to complaints regarding these facilities. Facilities with onsite water or septic are required to meet well and septic construction, occupancy and facility use restrictions. Visit the Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS) Division of Licensing Programs for a list of additional resources.