To the Editor:
The Westfield Board of Health met on June 6, 2016.
All seven of our partner communities – Cranford, Fanwood, Garwood, Mountainside, New Providence, Roselle Park and Summit – signed contracts to continue using the services of the Westfield Regional Health Department. This cooperation and mutual support allows for higher quality and more cost-efficient services for the residents of all the participating municipalities.
Several residents complained to the Health Department concerning standing water on neighbors’ property that could promote mosquito activity. Each complaint was investigated, since West Nile virus is spread by mosquitoes. The Union County Bureau of Mosquito Control (http://ucnj.org/engineering-public-works-facilities-management/bureau-of-mosquito-control/) works to lessen mosquito populations in the eommunity. Each of us should also lessen standing water around our homes. Please do not allow rainwater to accumulate in roofline gutters or pool covers or in objects like toys and tires that may be on your property.
The seven public pools in town were inspected by the Health Department. Each pool was satisfactory before opening to the public and will be inspected at least monthly. Pool operators must maintain and document sanitary conditions.
Residents with personal pools and hot tubs are strongly encouraged to follow manufacturers’ maintenance and safety recommendations so that their pools do not become hazardous. Also, residents are reminded to respect their neighbors in terms of limiting loud noise outdoors.
Increasing numbers of environmental complaints also concern rats and other rodents. Although this is expected during the summer, we can lessen it. Please make sure that your trash is in a covered hard can or receptacle impervious to animals. Also, please do not feed stray animals, since the food will promote rodent activity in your neighborhood.
In May, 41 retail food establishments were inspected or reviewed for pre-operational approval, including those for Spring Fling. All were satisfactory on initial inspection or reinspection except one, which was conditionally satisfactory and will be reinspected in June.
The Westfield Regional Health Department was audited by the State Department of Health for its Vaccine for Children, Vaccine for Adults and New Jersey Immunization Information System programs. The department was 100 percent compliant with all requirements and was issued no recommendations for change.
The Vaccines for Adults Program provides vaccines against many preventable infectious diseases for uninsured individuals or persons with Medicaid or Medicare (but not Part D). These vaccines include chickenpox, hepatitis A and B, human papilloma virus (HPV), influenza, measles, mumps and rubella, meningitis, pneumonia, shingles, and tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (Tdap). For more information and to schedule an appointment, please contact Laura Scanlon, the Public Health Nursing Supervisor, at 908-789-4070 x4074 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Four public school, one parochial school and four pre-school immunization audits were completed in May. All 624 public and 63 parochial school children were properly vaccinated for compliance rates of 100 percent. The school nurses were congratulated for their excellent work. The preschools had compliance rates of 73 to 90 percent and all were counseled. Reaudit compliance rates were 100 percent for two of the pre-schools and the other two will be reaudited in June.
The Health Department is sponsoring health screenings with Overlook Hospital at the Overlook Downtown Center, 357 Springfield Avenue in Summit. Bone density, glucose and blood pressure screenings will be on Mondays from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. There is a $10 charge for bone density and the other screenings are free. For more information and to register, please contact the Overlook Community Health Department at 1-800-247-9580.
Information about all of the Health Department’s activities is available on its website http://www.westfieldnj.gov/health. The complete minutes of the June 6 meeting will be posted after review and approval at our August 1 meeting, which starts at 5:30 p.m. in the Municipal Building. The public is invited to attend.