The Hampton Health District (HHD) is among the smallest Virginia Health Districts by area—136 square miles—and located along the shores of the Chesapeake Bay. Of that 136 miles, 85 square miles of it are water.
Founded in 1610, Hampton is a city of firsts – the first continuous English-speaking settlement was established here, America’s first free public education was offered here and NASA trained its first astronauts here in Hampton.
After the end of the American Civil War, historic Hampton University was established opposite from the town on the Hampton River, providing an education for many newly-freed former slaves and for area Native Americans. In the 20th century, the area became the location of Langley Air Force Base, NASA Langley Research Center, and the Virginia Air and Space Center. Hampton features many miles of waterfront and beaches.
Hampton hosts the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel (HRBT) on Interstate 64. First opened in 1957, it was the world's first bridge-tunnel, crossing the mouth of the Hampton Roads harbor, which serves as the gateway to the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean from the eastern United States' largest ice-free harbor and its tributary rivers. Expanded in the 1970s, the HRBT remains Virginia's busiest and deepest such facility.
Today, the HHD serves a population of approximately 137,000. The Environmental Health Staff includes 5 Environmental Health Specialists, 1 Manager, and 1 Administrative Support Staff in our office at 1320 LaSalle Ave. Programs include inspections of food establishments, temporary events, tourist establishments (hotels, motels, and bed and breakfast facilities), campgrounds, and swimming pools, body art establishments and marinas. Environmental Health (EH) staff also process applications, inspect private wells and are involved in the EPA’s Beachwater Monitoring grant program. Other programs include investigation of environmental sources of lead (for children age 6 or less with elevated blood lead levels), potential foodborne related outbreaks, rabies prevention, complaint investigations, and providing information and education regarding other environmental risks to health. The EH Department works with many other federal, state and local agencies to protect and promote the health of residents and visitors.
Staff regularly inspects:
- Over 500 permitted Food Establishments (such as restaurants, grocery stores, schools, daycare facilities, hospitals, nursing homes, mobile food trucks, etc.) which are inspected anywhere from two to four times per year;
- 31 Tourist Establishments (hotel, motel, inn or bed and breakfast) which are inspected annually;
- 9 Body Art establishments which are inspected bi-monthly;
- Over 90 swimming pools and hot tubs
- 30 marinas which are inspected annually;
- Over 500 special event food vendors.