The Virginia Department of Health announced today that portions of Monroe Bay and Mattox Creek in Westmoreland County are temporarily closed to shellfish harvesting due to a spill of raw sewage impacting water quality in the areas.  Due to potential microbiological pollution hazards, shellfish taken from areas affected by the emergency closures are currently unacceptable for consumption.

The temporary emergency closure is effective June 14, 2021, and is scheduled to reopen effective July 5, 2021.  The Division of Shellfish Safety will monitor the shellfish and water quality during this period to determine if the areas can be reopened sooner.

Maps of the affected areas are posted on the Division of Shellfish Safety’s home page at www.vdh.virginia.gov/Shellfish/. The affected shellfish are bivalve mollusks including oysters and clams, but not crabs or fin fish.

Ingesting shellfish taken from the closed areas at this time could cause gastrointestinal illnesses including norovirus, hepatitis A and shigellosis.

For more information on shellfish closures, see the frequently asked questions on shellfish condemnations at http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/environmental-health/shellfish-sanitation/frequently-asked-questions/