Florence County Health Department

Florence County, Wisconsin
info@florencewipublichealth.com  | 715-528-4837 | 501 Lake Ave, P.O. Box 410, Florence, Wisconsin 54121
Healthy People, Vibrant Communities
P.O. Box 410; Florence, WI 54121 501 Lake Ave; Florence, WI 54121 715-528-4837 info@florencewipublichealth.com Website by North Country Website Design
Home > Community Health

Community Health

Local health departments are required to regularly and systematically collect, assemble, analyze, and make available information on the health of their community. In the beginning of 2015, the Florence County Health Department completed a new Community Health Assessment (CHA) and Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP). Through the CHA/CHIP process, the department collaborated with partners representing diverse viewpoints. Working together, we identified Alcohol & Drug Abuse and Mental Health as top health concerns for our community. A coalition was formed to work toward reducing substance abuse and increasing education and treatment options in our area.

Community Health Priorities

Other Community Health Priorities

Blue-Green Algae

Cardiovascular Disease

Environmental Health

Prevention and Control

Tobacco Control & Prevention

Well Owner Guide

Well Water Testing

Other Information

Blue-Green Algae

What are blue-green algae?

Blue-green algae, also known as Cyanobacteria, are a group of photosynthetic bacteria that many people refer to as "pond scum." Blue- green algae are most often blue-green in color, but can also be blue, green, reddish-purple, or brown. Blue-green algae generally grow in lakes, ponds, and slow-moving streams when the water is warm and enriched with nutrients like phosphorus or nitrogen.

Are all blue-green algae dangerous?

There are many species of blue-green algae found in Wisconsin lakes and rivers, but only certain species can produce the algal toxins that cause illness. Not all algal blooms produce toxin; a blue-green algae bloom may not be producing toxins or producing enough toxin to cause a health concern. Larger algal blooms have the potential for higher concentrations of toxin. Unfortunately, there is no immediate way to know if an algal bloom is dangerous or not. When cyanobacteria are present in high numbers, some swimmers may experience eye, ear, or skin irritation or gastrointestinal problems like vomiting and diarrhea. Pets are especially susceptible to blue-green algae because they don't naturally avoid smelly, green water. Because of their relatively small size, animals do not need to ingest very much tainted water to become ill. Many dogs have gotten sick and some have died as a result of drinking water experiencing an algal bloom or licking their fur after swimming in algae-filled waters. If you have a pet that enjoys swimming in the lakes and rivers of Wisconsin, review the information about keeping your animals safe from blue-green algae at Merck Veterinary Manual. See the DNR blue-green algae webpage for more information.

Environmental Health

FLOODING and MOLD

These resources are available for responding to flooding as it occurs in our county: The Bureau of Environmental and Occupational Health (BEOH) has created a Flood Toolkit and other online flood recovery guidance  that provides important information on how to safely re-enter and clean a flooded building or disinfect a private well.  Flood Toolkit includes guidance on: Preparing for a flood: page 8 Disinfecting your well and water system: page 10 Re-entering your home: page 12 Food after a flood: page 14 Cleaning after a flood: page 15 For those in your communities with concerns about mold exposure following a flood, BEOH has also developed an array of online health information and cleanup guidance for mold which includes the new Mold Toolkit. Mold Toolkit includes guidance on: Mold Concerns: page 3 Finding the moisture source: page 5 Cleaning indoor mold: page 7 Indoor mold and health: page 8 Black Mold: page 9 Tenant and Lanlord information: page 10 Hiring a Mold Contractor: page 11 FAQs: page 12 The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) also offers information on flooding such as guidance to property owners about flooding and potential impacts to private wells. Fee-exempt well test kits are also available to affected private well owners. County and tribal health agencies should contact the State Lab of Hygiene at 1-800-442-4618 to request fee-exempt test kits and forms, or to discuss the use of existing well test kits. The Department of Health Services (DHS) and the DNR recommend that private wells topped with or surrounded by flood waters be disinfected prior to testing for bacterial contamination. The Partner Communications and Alerting (PCA) Portal’s DHS Flood Response Dashboard contains links to Wisconsin Emergency Management Situation Reports and National Weather Service maps with current and predicted river and lake levels.  

Other Information

Staying Safe in the Heat!

You can get sick from the heat even on mild days in the low 80s!  Watch this video and follow these tips to stay safe during hot weather. 

Inspecting our Community

The Florence County Health Department (FCHD) became an agent for the state in July 2017. Since then FCHD has been responsible for licensing and inspecting establishments in Florence County. We protect the community’s health by ensuring that restaurants, hotels, bed and breakfast establishments, public swimming pools, water attractions, campgrounds, and tattoo and body piercing establishments are in compliance with the respective laws. The communities served include Tipler, Long Lake, Fern, Fence, Aurora, Commonwealth, Spread Eagle, and Florence. All establishment inspections are conducted by Environmental Health Specialists (EHS), whom are nationally Registered Environmental Health Sanitarians. These professionals work with establishment owners and managers each day to keep the environment and your food and drinks safe from harmful bacteria, viruses, physical hazards and chemical contaminates. Interested in seeing a food establishments most recent inspection in Florence County? Visit HealthSpace. Click here for information on Food Service Inspections & Permits.

Florence County

Health Department

info@florencewipublichealth.com  | 715-528-4837 | 501 Lake Ave, P.O. Box 410, Florence, WI 54121
Healthy People, Vibrant Communities
501 Lake Ave Florence, WI 54121 715-528-4837 info@florencewipublichealth.com Website by North Country Website Design
Home > Community Health

Community Health

Local health departments are required to regularly and systematically collect, assemble, analyze, and make available information on the health of their community. In the beginning of 2015, the Florence County Health Department completed a new Community Health Assessment (CHA) and Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP). Through the CHA/CHIP process, the department collaborated with partners representing diverse viewpoints. Working together, we identified Alcohol & Drug Abuse and Mental Health as top health concerns for our community. A coalition was formed to work toward reducing substance abuse and increasing education and treatment options in our area.

Community Health Priorities

Florence County, Wisconsin

Other Community Health Priorities

Blue-Green Algae

Cardiovascular Disease

Environmental Health

Prevention and Control

Tobacco Control & Prevention

Well Owner Guide

Well Water Testing

Other Information

Blue-Green Algae

What are blue-green algae?

Blue-green algae, also known as Cyanobacteria, are a group of photosynthetic bacteria that many people refer to as "pond scum." Blue-green algae are most often blue- green in color, but can also be blue, green, reddish- purple, or brown. Blue-green algae generally grow in lakes, ponds, and slow-moving streams when the water is warm and enriched with nutrients like phosphorus or nitrogen.

Are all blue-green algae dangerous?

There are many species of blue-green algae found in Wisconsin lakes and rivers, but only certain species can produce the algal toxins that cause illness. Not all algal blooms produce toxin; a blue-green algae bloom may not be producing toxins or producing enough toxin to cause a health concern. Larger algal blooms have the potential for higher concentrations of toxin. Unfortunately, there is no immediate way to know if an algal bloom is dangerous or not. When cyanobacteria are present in high numbers, some swimmers may experience eye, ear, or skin irritation or gastrointestinal problems like vomiting and diarrhea. Pets are especially susceptible to blue-green algae because they don't naturally avoid smelly, green water. Because of their relatively small size, animals do not need to ingest very much tainted water to become ill. Many dogs have gotten sick and some have died as a result of drinking water experiencing an algal bloom or licking their fur after swimming in algae-filled waters. If you have a pet that enjoys swimming in the lakes and rivers of Wisconsin, review the information about keeping your animals safe from blue-green algae at Merck Veterinary Manual. See the DNR blue-green algae webpage for more information.

Environmental Health

FLOODING and MOLD

These resources are available for responding to flooding as it occurs in our county: The Bureau of Environmental and Occupational Health (BEOH) has created a Flood Toolkit and other online flood recovery guidance that provides important information on how to safely re-enter and clean a flooded building or disinfect a private well.  Flood Toolkit includes guidance on: Preparing for a flood: page 8 Disinfecting your well and water system: page 10 Re-entering your home: page 12 Food after a flood: page 14 Cleaning after a flood: page 15 For those in your communities with concerns about mold exposure following a flood, BEOH has also developed an array of online health information and cleanup guidance for mold which includes the new Mold Toolkit. Mold Toolkit includes guidance on: Mold Concerns: page 3 Finding the moisture source: page 5 Cleaning indoor mold: page 7 Indoor mold and health: page 8 Black Mold: page 9 Tenant and Lanlord information: page 10 Hiring a Mold Contractor: page 11 FAQs: page 12 The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) also offers information on flooding such as guidance to property owners about flooding and potential impacts to private wells. Fee-exempt well test kits are also available to affected private well owners. County and tribal health agencies should contact the State Lab of Hygiene at 1-800-442- 4618 to request fee-exempt test kits and forms, or to discuss the use of existing well test kits. The Department of Health Services (DHS) and the DNR recommend that private wells topped with or surrounded by flood waters be disinfected prior to testing for bacterial contamination. The Partner Communications and Alerting (PCA) Portal’s DHS Flood Response Dashboard contains links to Wisconsin Emergency Management Situation Reports and National Weather Service maps with current and predicted river and lake levels.  

Other Information

Staying Safe in the Heat!

You can get sick from the heat even on mild days in the low 80s!  Watch this video and follow these tips to stay safe during hot weather. 

Inspecting our Community

The Florence County Health Department (FCHD) became an agent for the state in July 2017. Since then FCHD has been responsible for licensing and inspecting establishments in Florence County. We protect the community’s health by ensuring that restaurants, hotels, bed and breakfast establishments, public swimming pools, water attractions, campgrounds, and tattoo and body piercing establishments are in compliance with the respective laws. The communities served include Tipler, Long Lake, Fern, Fence, Aurora, Commonwealth, Spread Eagle, and Florence. All establishment inspections are conducted by Environmental Health Specialists (EHS), whom are nationally Registered Environmental Health Sanitarians. These professionals work with establishment owners and managers each day to keep the environment and your food and drinks safe from harmful bacteria, viruses, physical hazards and chemical contaminates. Interested in seeing a food establishments most recent inspection in Florence County? Visit HealthSpace. Click here for information on Food Service Inspections & Permits.