POMEROY — According to the Ohio Department of Health, environmental health addresses physical, chemical, and biological factors external to a person, and all the related factors impacting behaviors. Environmental Health encompasses the assessment and control of those environmental factors that can potentially affect health. It is targeted toward preventing disease, reducing exposures to contaminants and creating health-supportive environments.
Last year was a busy one for the Meigs County Health Department Environmental Health team of Steve Swatzel (director) and Dawn Keller (registered sanitarian).
According to the annual report released this spring, the Environmental Health activities included more than 1,100 investigations and inspections.
Environmental Health activities were as follows:
- 93 Food service operations and retail food establishment licenses issued
- 363 Inspections of retail food establishments and food service operations
- 38 Inspections of temporary food services
- 48 Inspections of mobile food services (18 locally licensed, 30 non-locally licensed)
- 4 Inspections of vending locations
- 8 Plan reviews for new establishments
- 72 Food service workers trained and certified in food safety
- 63 Sewage installation permits issued
- 50 Sewage operation permits issued
- 3 Inspections/approvals to land apply domestic septage
- 320 Inspections of sewage treatment systems
- 64 Rabies/animal bite investigations (53 dog, 10 cat, 1 racoon)
- 9 Specimens sent for rabies testing
- 4 Mobile home park inspections
- 20 Public school health and safety inspections
- 3 Inspections of tattoo and body piercing operations
- 10 Public campgrounds licensed and inspected
- 2 Public swimming pools licensed and inspected
- 32 Water samples collected and tested for bacterial contamination
- 5 Indoor mold complaint investigations
- 4 Statements of conditions provided in landlord/tenant disputes
- 38 Solid waste nuisance complaints investigated
- 1 Mosquito complaint investigated, larvicide applied
- 8 Inspections completed of solid waste disposal facilities (active and closed)
- 25 Garbage trucks registered/inspected
- 4 Infectious waste large generators
- 2 jail inspections
- 17 Bed bugs consultations and trainings
- 18 Household sewage treatment systems repaired or replaced using funding obtained through OEPA-Water Pollution Control Loan Fund for a total amount of $168,769.
The Health Department, in partnership with Dr. Kelly Grueser of the Meigs Veterinary Clinic held a rabies vaccination clinic with 73 dogs and eight cats vaccinated. The 2020 Rabies Vaccine Clinic for dogs and cats is being held from 10 a.m. to noon on June 27 at the Meigs County Health Department. The cost is $5. For more information on the clinic contact Steve or Dawn at 740-992-6626.
Meigs County Clean Up Day was also held in 2019 through the work of the Meigs County Health Department and other partner agencies. During the clean up, a total of 20 tons of solid waste, 12 tons of scrap metal and 2,156 scrap tires were collected. The 2020 Clean Up Day has been moved to Sept. 26 due to COVID-19 restrictions during the originally scheduled date.
The health department received a Mosquito Control Grant in the amount of $15,670 from the Ohio EPA to hire seasonal help to collect mosquitoes for testing, to collect 1,695 scrap tires, to distribute 100 mosquito safety kits, to provide public service announcements on the radio and to treat nuisance areas with larvicide.
The amount of $16,000 was awarded from Gallia, Jackson, Meigs, Vinton Solid Waste District to conduct investigations and inspections in the solid waste program.
Editor’s Note: This is the third in a series of articles on the Meigs County Health Department annual report.
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Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.