VA First Lady and Attorney General launch Fentanyl Awareness Pilot Program

Virginia’s First Lady Suzanne Youngkin and Attorney General Jason Miyares announced the launch of the Fentanyl Awareness Pilot Program at the Fraline Biomedical Research Institute in Roanoke.

The first-of-its-kind initiative is in conjunction with the Virginia Department of Health, the First Lady’s Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth and the Attorney General’s “One Pill Can Kill” campaign.

The pilot program hopes to warn parents and caregivers that “It only takes one.”

One counterfeit pill or decision could contribute to Virginia’s average of five fentanyl deaths each day.

Fentanyl poisoning is the leading cause of unnatural death in Virginia and deaths from the drug have doubled in certain regions around the state since 2019.

Fentanyl can be mixed with other drugs or made to look like prescriptions with the user often unaware of the presence of fentanyl.

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

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.

Virginia receives funding to replace lead pipes

Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine announced $46.3 million in federal funds are coming to the Virginia Department of Health Office of Drinking Water.

The funds will be used to replace lead service pipes throughout the state to help protect public health.

Both senators pointed towards the water crisis in Jackson, Mississippi as a driving force to improve Virginia’s water infrastructure.

The funding is through the Environmental Protection Agency and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act which was negotiated by Senator Warren with support from Senator Kaine.

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 expands free COVID-19 testing in the LFHD

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An email from Lorrie Andrew-Spear of the Virginia Department of Health’s (VDH) Communications Office announced the expansion of COVID-19 testing.

The Lord Fairfax Health District (LFHD) will now have free COVID-19 testing every Wednesday in February including today Feb. 2.

The clinics will be held each Wed. at the Warren County Health and Human Services Complex at 465 W. 15 Street Front Royal from 1 until 3 p.m..

Enter the clinic on the gymnasium side of the building wearing your mask and have a photo identification with you.

There is no registration required for the clinic and it is on a first come first served basis.

The clinics are for anyone 2 years of age and over.

All those under the age 18 are required to have a parent or guardian with them.

Walk ups will be accepted.

This is the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test with results relayed in as few as three days.

No rapid test will be available at these clinics.

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 vase.vdh.virginia.gov.

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

Dr. Greene joins Gov. Youngkin’s health team

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Governor Glenn Youngkin on the official Governor Web Page announced several key administrative appointments.

Youngkin calls the appointments the most important management team he has ever assembled.

Telling Virginians that they can rest assured they have brought together the most qualified team that they deserve.

One of those appointments includes the current Director of the Lord Fairfax Health District Dr. Colin Greene as the acting commissioner of the Virginia Department of Health (VDH).

Dr. Greene will continue to serve as the director of the Lord Fairfax Health District but expects to have a replacement ready within the week.

Dr. Greene will replace out going commissioner Dr. Norman Oliver who served under Gov. Northam.

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