Algal mat alert lifted in Strasburg

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The Virginia Department of Health lifted the Algal Mat alerts for the North Fork of the Shenandoah River near the Town of Strasburg for the season.

The Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) Task Force suspends operation at the end of October each year as the recreational swimming season ends.

The cooling of water temperatures naturally lowers the concentration of cyanobacteria.

Suspending HAB Task Force response during the cooler months also allows for the conservation of resources to focus on peak recreational use.

The original mat alert began north of Strasburg near Route 644 and continued 11.5 miles near Route 611.

For more information on harmful algal blooms and their effects, click here.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Monkeypox case confirmed at Sherando High School

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Sherando High School sent a letter to families and staff informing them that a person at the school has monkeypox.

The Frederick County Health Department which is in the Lord Fairfax Health District confirmed the Frederick County Public Schools of the case.

Although the person was in school while infectious the health department is not aware of any high risk interaction the individual had with students or staff.

As recommended by the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) the person will stay home and isolate until it is safe to be around others.

In addition the school division is adhering to other recommendations from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to prevent the transmission of monkeypox.

Officials are working closely with the individual to find out if and who they may have had close contact with and if action is required.

Those who have developed any symptoms should remain isolated from both people and pets cover any liaisons and contact their health care provider.

Symptoms include rashes resembling pimples and blisters and may include fever, headache, backache, chills and cold like symptoms.

The school system will provide updates as needed on any and all health concerns.

Questions can be directed to the Frederick County Health Department at 540-722-3470.

The Virginia Department of Health provides additional information on monkeypox here.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Algal Mat Alert for Shenandoah River

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The Virginia Department of Health and Lord Fairfax Health District issued an Algal Mat Alert by email for the North Fork of the Shenandoah River near Strasburg.

The affected area begins at Route 644 and continues for approximately 11.5 miles to Route 611 including the boat ramp at Deer Rapids and other public access points.

Signs have been posted along the shore and at those access points.

Recreation may continue in those areas as long as the algae mats can be avoided.

Pets and livestock are recommended to be kept out of the water to avoid the mats as they may cause gastrointestinal illnesses and skin rashes.

Cyanotoxins levels were below or just above detection levels and contact with the mats can release more toxins.

Consuming cyanotoxins can be fatal for animals.

No disturbances to the town’s drinking water have been observed at this time.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

VDH offers heat health tips and VDSS offers cooling assistance

As the heat rises in Virginia the Department of Health (VDH) recommends two to four glasses of water an hour when working outdoors.

That amount of water helps to avoid heat cramps, stroke and dehydration.

Symptoms of heat related illness are heavy sweating, increase heart rate, nausea, dizziness or headache.

The Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS) reminds low income households or  homes with people 60 years of age or older are eligible for cooling assistance.

Even households with a disabled person or a person under six can still apply for cooling assistance until August 15.

You can apply for assistance through the Virginia Energy Assistance Program at your local department of social services.

This assistance can help with energy cost, repair of cooling equipment even the purchase of window air conditioners and fans or weatherizaton.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

VDH confirms a rabies case in Clarke County

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A press release from Risk Communications Manager Lorrie Andrew- Spear of the Virginia Department of Health’s (VDH) Lord Fairfax Health District (LFHD)  warns of rabies.

The press release confirms a case of rabies in the northeast area of Berryville.

Residents are reminded to vaccinate their pets and keep up to date with inoculations.

Where the kitten that was diagnosed is no longer a threat precautions should be taken.

Residents are asked to not leave food out for strays or wild animals.

Should you or your pet be bitten, scratched or licked by an unknown animal it is best to report it to your local health department for advice.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

VDH and FDA announce the recall of powder formulas

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The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced the recall of several powder formulas.

The recall includes Similac, Alimentum and Elecare and do not include any metabolic deficiency nutrition formulas.

All the formulas are from a Michigan manufacturer for possible salmonella.

Recall numbers to watch for include 22-37, container codes K8, SH, Z2.

Also be aware of an expiration date of 4/1/2022.

These should be return for a refund or thrown away.

Additional information from the FDA is found here.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

VDH launches mental health website for COVID-19 stresses

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A social post from the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) announced the launching of online mental health relief from the stresses of COVID-19.

Statistics show that COVID-19 can have a major impact on our mental health.

Many people suffer anxiety and emotional distress from the pandemic especially those treating and caring for those with COVID.

VDH has launched Mission 16 an online resource for COVID-19 community ambassadors to relieve that stress.

The site is an online hub for resources and tools for anyone who needs relief from the emotional or mental stresses of COVID-19.

The site is also for anyone who can spare time to help keep Virginians safe from the pandemic.

For more information on Mission 16 or about how to become an ambassador click here.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

VDH offers free COVID-19 vaccinations in Shenandoah VA. tomorrow 1/21

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The Virginia Department of Health’ s (VDH) Lord Fairfax Health District (LFHD) has teamed up with Dollar General Stores to offer COVID-19 vaccinations.

A VDH email announced that the Dollar General Store in Shenandoah Virginia will offer a vaccination clinic tomorrow Jan. 21.

The clinic will offer vaccinations at the 727 4 Street Shenandoah Virginia location from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m..

The clinic will offer first, second, primary and booster doses of the vaccines.

All three of the vaccines will be available at the clinic.

Anyone 5 and older is eligible for certain vaccines.

Everyone under the age of 18 will need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian to be vaccinated.

Walk ups are welcomed but appointments can also be made at

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

VDH will open more community COVID-19 testing centers

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An email from Governor Northam announced that the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) will open more COVID-19 testing centers in the state.

Nine new Community Testing Centers will increase testing availability across the Commonwealth.

The centers are expected to open around or near the same locations that were used as vaccination centers previously.

The new centers will be funded by an initial $5 million from the VDH.

The VDH is seeking funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to reimburse expenses.

Statewide testing sites are projected to perform over 50,000 test in the month of January alone.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Samuel’s Public Library offers home COVID-19 testing kits

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An email from Samuels Public Library announced that home COVID-19 testing kits are now available through Dec. 31 at the library.

Samuel’s Library joined libraries across the state and the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) in an effort to bring testing to more rural and remote communities.

A virtually guided COVID-19 antigen card home test is for use in your home with digital results in 15 minutes.

A person using the test will need an internet connected device enabled with a camera and a microphone, smartphone or laptop to be a part of the virtual testing session.

More on Samuel’s Public Library and the program is available here.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.