January 13, 2010
Media Release

Celebrating the contribution public health inspectors make towards protecting the health of York Region residents

National Environmental Public Health Week January 18th to 24th
NEWMARKET – The third week in January is designated annually as National Environmental Public Health Week.  The Regional Municipality of York joins communities across Canada to recognize and celebrate the services and work that Public Health Inspectors provide to protect the health of residents in our Region. 
 
This year’s theme “Hygiene: An Approach to Life” focuses on reminding residents that while improved hygiene, diagnosis and treatment of disease over the past century have increased, we live in a complex and border-less world.  People must remain vigilant to reduce the spread and lessen the impact of disease in our communities.
 
On a day-to-day basis, through education and enforcement of health legislation, the Public Health Inspectors’ role in our community is to promote and protect the health of York Region residents.  Specifically, York Region Public Health Inspectors are responsible for:
 
• Inspection of food premises (restaurants, cafeterias)
• Monitoring of public beaches and public drinking water systems for water quality
• Infection control inspections of long-term care facilities, child care facilities and personal service settings (spas, nail parlours, tattoo and piercing premises)
• Investigation of cases where a person has been bitten or scratched by an animal to prevent the spread of rabies
• Co-ordinating the West Nile Virus program activities
• Public pool, spa and wading pool inspections
• Indoor and outdoor air quality, environmental inspections and investigations
• Disease investigation and outbreak management
• Health promotion and education initiatives
• Enforcement activities
 
In 2009, the accomplishments of Public Health Inspectors in York Region included the following:
• Conducted over 12,315 food premises inspections
• Conducted 2,165 infection control inspections, including personal service settings, long-term care homes and child care facilities
• Investigated 841 animal bite cases with human exposure
• Investigated 78 West Nile Virus standing water complaints to reduce mosquito breeding sites
• Inspected 460 recreational water facilities, including public pools, spas, wading pools, splash/spray pads
• Submitted 4,000 drinking water samples on behalf of private well owners
• Investigated 140 indoor air quality and mould complaints
• Inspected 67 migrant farm worker accommodations
• Inspected 69 arena ice pads
• Investigated 31 outdoor air quality and other environmental complaints
• Monitored the water quality of 17 public beaches between May and September
• Presented 108 dining establishments with the Eat Smart! Award for meeting exceptional standards in food safety, healthy food choices and smoke-free dining
 
For more information on the Regional Municipality of York, please visit www.york.ca
 
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Media Contact: Jennifer Mitchell-Emmerson, Community and Health Services, York Region
                      Phone: 905 830-4444, ext. 4016 or After-hours Cell: 905 716-9753
                      Email: Jennifer.mitchellemmerson@york.ca

Contact Information
 
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