HealthCare.Gov, a website designed to provide information about the changes resulting from the Affordable Care Act, has been updated to provide new educational tools on coverage options for individuals, families, and small businesses. New (and easier-to-use) features include:

·         A Q/A format to highlight coverage options;
·         24/7 call center and online chat;
·         Explanation of how the Marketplace will work;
·         Details on what ACA does to expand coverage options and provide new protections for consumers.

Visit HealthCare.Gov

Food Reward Friday

This week's lucky "winner"... beer!!

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5 Ways to Protect Groundwater

In Thurston County, we drink groundwater. There are many steps we can take in our daily lives to keep drinking water safe.

Here are five ways that you can protect groundwater.

1. Dispose of unused, unwanted household hazardous products properly. Take them to HazoHouse, where they will be disposed of safely, for free.

2. Have your well water tested. Thurston County Environmental Health Division recommends testing well water for bacteria once a year. Test for nitrate at least every three years, before bringing home an infant, and when a woman in the home is pregnant, nursing, or trying to become pregnant. If you are on city water or a community water system, they test their water regularly. You can call to request the water quality test results.

3. Keep your septic system maintenance up to date. A well maintained septic system is inspected every year and pumped as needed, typically every three to five years.

4. Don't put anything on the ground that you wouldn't want to drink. This includes toxic bug and weed killers that are often mixed in with fertilizers.

We all need safe, clean water. Let's do our part to protect our main source of drinking water: groundwater.

Public Health Update 6/27/13

Below are excerpts from the June 27 public health update from Maine CDC. For the full update, read it online.  


A new disease called “Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus” (MERS-CoV) has been getting a lot of media attention after it caused severe illness and death in adults from several countries. There are currently no reported cases in the United States.

US CDC has developed a brief feature at

For more information, see the Health Alert issued by Maine CDC on June 20: 

Summer health

As the weather starts warming up, make sure you know how to keep your summer safe and healthy. Know how to avoid:

For more information, see this press release:   

Recent reports

  • US CDC released its summary of recommendations from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) for the Prevention of Measles, Rubella, Congenital Rubella Syndrome, and Mumps. The MMWR is available at
US CDC issued a report on the 2012-13 flu season and the composition of the vaccine for the 2013-14 season at 

Upcoming events

The conference website for the 2013 Division of Infectious Disease Annual Conference is now live at

The website includes a summary, agenda, conference brochure, information about fees, and the link to register.