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Public Health Beach Monitoring Season Begins

Hastings and Prince Edward Counties/June 19, 2020 – The 2020 Public Health Beach Monitoring Program officially began on Monday, June 8, 2020. Now that provincial restrictions related to beach use have been lifted, beach-goers will be able to tell easily if bathing waters at designated public beaches are safe for swimming as status signs will be posted at all beaches monitored by Hastings Prince Edward Public Health. Beach goers can also find out if their favourite beach is safe for swimming by visiting the Public Beach Report at hpePublicHealth.ca. Updated beach reports will be posted on the Friday of each week.

The annual Beach Monitoring Program ensures that water at public beaches do not contain unsafe levels of E. coli bacteria. As part of the program, public health staff collect a minimum of five water samples from each beach scheduled that week for monitoring. These samples are sent to a provincial lab and tested for levels of E. coli bacteria. When bacterial counts exceed provincial guidelines, warning signs are posted at the beach advising that the water is unsafe for swimming, and notices will be sent to the media, as well as posted on the HPEPH website and social media.

We all have a role to play to keep local water safe and clean. To help improve local water quality, you can:

  • Upgrade septic systems and keep them in good working order.
  • Pet owners should observe local ‘stoop & scoop’ bylaws.
  • Detach eavestroughs from sewers so they discharge onto lawns to reduce the amount of rainwater going directly into sewers.
  • Ensure that washroom additions to your home are connected properly to the sanitary sewers.
  • Fence livestock away from streams and provide them with alternate water sources.
  • Ensure that run-off from feedlots and manure piles are properly contained.

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Media Contact:

Emily Tubbs, Communications Specialist
etubbs@hpeph.ca

About Hastings Prince Edward Public Health

Hastings Prince Edward Public Health (HPEPH) is a public health agency that serves the counties of Hastings and Prince Edward from four local offices. We monitor the health of our local population, deliver programs and services within our communities, and help develop healthy public policies. We provide information and support in many areas to help improve the health and well-being of our residents. Together with our communities, we help people become as healthy as they can be. For more information, please visit hpePublicHealth.ca. You can also find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

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We are gradually resuming in-person services at HPEPH by appointment only at this time.  Please review our Service Interruptions page for more information.

All program lines and the COVID-19 information line operate Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm (excluding statutory holidays).

To assist us with our efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19, we ask anyone visiting the office for an appointment to:

  • bring a non-medical mask, physical distancing may not be possible during your appointment
  • maintain physical distance of at least 2 metres, both inside and outside the office
  • review symptoms of COVID-19, and reschedule your appointment if you have symptoms of the virus, or any other illness
  • reschedule your appointment if a family member or other close contact is ill
  • use accessible buttons to open doors, instead of handles
  • use hand sanitizer when entering and exiting the building

We have made additional changes to prevent the spread of COVID-19. If you are visiting our office for an appointment, you can be confident that we are:

  • increasing our cleaning, in alignment with heightened infection control protocols
  • considering alternatives to in-person appointments and meetings when possible
  • screening staff and visitors for symptoms of COVID-19
  • offering in-person services by appointment only to reduce traffic in office
  • ensuring staff wear masks and/or other protective equipment when seeing clients

Please continue to our website for more information about our programs and services.