Baton Rouge—The Department of Health and Hospitals - Office of Public Health (DHH/OPH) will reopen oyster harvest Area 23 one half hour prior to sunrise Wednesday, May 30, 2012. This oyster bed is located in Terrebonne parish waters. DHH closed the bed on May 8, 2012 due to a Norovirus outbreak linked to oysters from Area 23.
Testing by DHH has determined molluscan shellfish growing waters in harvest Area 23 are suitable for harvest of oysters. The order to reopen the harvest area was signed today by Dr. Jimmy Guidry, State Health Officer, and DHH Secretary, Bruce D. Greenstein. Today's action rescinds the closure order, allowing oystermen to resume operations in harvest Area 23.
DHH/OPH will continue to monitor conditions in the shellfish growing areas to ensure that we protect our public's health. The Louisiana Oyster Task Force was also in support of this reopening. Water standards for oyster harvesting areas are set by the Interstate Shellfish Sanitation Conference and can be found at http://www.issc.org/. DHH has the authority to open and close these waters under LSA-R.S. 40:5.3.
Department of Health and Hospitals strives to protect and promote health statewide and to ensure access to medical, preventive and rehabilitative services for all state citizens. To learn more about DHH, visit http://www.dhh.louisiana.gov. For up-to-date health information, news and emergency updates, follow DHH's blog, Twitter account and Facebook.