For all COVID-19 updates and vaccine information, please visit our COVID-19 page here.
The primary responsibility of the Health Department is to respond and act on any situation that may affect the health and safety of the general public. Most of its duties are contained within many statutes, including mandatory licensing and inspection programs.
Health Department Mission
We believe that advancing diversity and inclusion is essential to our mission as a public health department, a mission that is deeply entrenched in social justice. Our commitment to diversity and inclusion enables us to help eliminate local health disparities.
Board of Health
By law, the Board of Health is the designated public health authority for the town. It is primarily a regulatory agency, and strives to effectively enforce all applicable laws and rules and regulations pertaining to public health in order to preserve and protect public health - its major goal and responsibility. Additionally, the board continually evaluates and identifies community health needs so it can provide appropriate programs and services that lend to the promotion of public health for all.
The Board of Health meets on the second Tuesday of each month at 6:00 p.m., unless otherwise voted on by board members due to scheduling conflicts. Please refer to the Board of Health meeting minutes for when the next meeting will be held. Meetings are held in the Selectboard Meeting Room in town hall at 116 Main Street. Due to COVID-19 pandemic, the Board has met virtually.
Agendas & Minutes
Agendas are available prior to the meetings. Minutes are available following approval. View Most Recent Agendas and Minutes
Public Health Resources
The South Hadley Board of Health recommends all eligible residents get vaccinated against COVID-19 accordingly.
In support of the state Department of Public Health, the Board of Health advises that a fully vaccinated person should wear a mask or face covering when indoors (and not in your own home) if:
- you have a weakened immune system,
- are at increased risk for severe disease because of your age or underlying medical condition,
- someone in your household has a weakened immune system, is at increased risk for severe disease or is unvaccinated.
For those who are not vaccinated, it is strongly recommended they continue to wear a face covering or mask.
For more information regarding mask requirements in the state of Massachusetts, visit https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-mask-requirements.
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Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI)
Based upon detection in birds throughout Massachusetts and neighboring states, HPAI appears to be prevalent amongst the region's wild bird population. Domestic poultry in Massachusetts may be at risk of exposure. Waterbirds that are most likely to carry the HPAI virus include shorebirds, gulls, waterfowl, geese and dabbling duck. Flock owners are advised to implement biosecurity tactics and sanitary protocols to protect their flock and facility against the virus. Visit https://mass.gov/service-details/poultry-program for updates and available resources.
The 2021 Arbovirus season starts on Monday June 14. As a result, the state will begin mosquito testing at the State Public Health Laboratory. This may be the third year of a EEE outbreak cycle. There is a possibility, the extended drought from last fall into spring may reduce EEE activity. As a precaution, surveillance, response plans, and educational materials are now available. Refer to the listed resources for additional information.
- Massachusetts Department of Public Health Arbovirus Surveillance Program Report - July 27, 2021
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health is currently monitoring case counts of monkeypox and encourages clinicians to refer potential patients for testing by contacting the Department of Public Health. If you have symptoms of monkeypox, including unknown rashes/lesions contact your healthcare provider for an assessment. Skin to skin contact, including sexual contact are the highest risk factors of human transmission of monkeypox. Currently, the overall risks for Americans is low.
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances are a category of chemicals commonly utilized in stain resistant, water resistant, and non-stick manufactured goods. They are seen in a wide range of products. Besides consumer products, drinking water is also a source of PFAS. Often times, the water is contaminated with PFAS from a nearby facility impacting the water quality. The testing of surface water and fish is being conducted by MASSDEP and DPH to determine PFAS contaminant levels and to implement the necessary safety protocols.