April 17, 2020. Reno, Nev. The Environmental Health Services division of the Washoe County Health District (WCHD) will resume conducting routine inspections as staff resources become available from the COVID-19 response.
WCHD inspection staff had paused routine inspections to concentrate only on complaint investigations, construction inspection and essential inspections, based on FDA guidance during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many in the Environmental Health Services division of the Health District were directly involved in the COVID-19 response in Washoe County, such as standing up the drive-thru testing, among other things.
The inspections moving forward will prioritize high-risk facilities that are providing food to the community. The style of these inspection will be different from the normal routine food establishment inspections as the inspectors will focus on practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19 as well as the higher risk food preparation process that are more likely to contribute to foodborne illness. The goal is to ensure safe food provision to the community and prevent the risk of a foodborne illness and COVID-19 illness outbreaks in a time of already stressed resources.
Staff will be following social distancing guidance and use personal protective equipment when necessary to keep them safe.
Other permitted facilities that can be inspected while following social distancing guidelines, such as Mobile Home Parks and dump stations, will also begin receiving their standard annual inspection.
No facilities that are considered non-essential, which should not be operating, will receive inspection until further notice.