Due to extreme staffing shortages, significant delays may be experienced in responses to inquiries, complaints, and new applications. Inspection and investigations will be prioritized based on (potential) risk to the public. We appreciate the patience and understanding of stakeholders and community members as we work to stabilize staffing and improve services. For more information, see this related Northern Health news release (July 5, 2022)
Northern Health public health orders
- Provincial COVID-19 restrictions
- COVID-19 event safety plan template (PDF)
- Northern Health COVID-19 safety plan (PDF)
Environmental health services during COVID-19
Many people have questions about environmental health services during this stressful and challenging time. Please see below for help and further resources available. Health Protection central line: 250-565-7322
- COVID-19 related external environmental health links
- Guiding Public Health principles for business operators during COVID-19 pandemic
- COVID-19 safely reopening building water systems after COVID-19 shutdowns: Guidance for BC
For further information regarding COVID-19 please visit our Coronavirus information (COVID-19) page or visit the BC Centre for Disease Control. You can also follow them on Twitter for real-time updates.
Environmental Health Officers
The mission of Northern Health's Public Health Protection Program is to protect the health of Northern communities in British Columbia through education and inspection strategies designed to reduce health risks to the public.
Environmental Health Officers, often called Public Health Inspectors, are vital members of the community health system. They safeguard the well-being of both the public and the environment by educating people about public health issues, monitoring facilities and development, and enforcing health legislation.
Complaints and inquiries
Please note that Northern Health only responds to matters of public health; matters that affect the general public. Examples include sewage entering neighbouring properties from a failed septic system and food-borne illness outbreaks.
However, we are available to provide information and advice on issues affecting an individual and private homes such as mould or a sewage backup within your primary residence. Please contact your primary health care provider, such as your family physician, for information regarding your personal health.
Landlord tenant questions should be directed to the Residential Tenancy Branch.
To contact an environmental health officer, call the Health Protection central line at 250-565-7322. The line will be answered Monday to Friday 8 am to 4 pm PST. On weekends and statutory holidays the calls will go directly to voicemail and will be returned during regular working hours. Alternatively, we can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
After hours emergencies can be reported to the Medical Health Officer (MHO) on call at the University Hospital of Northern BC switchboard at 250-565-2000 (option 7, ask for Medical Health officer on call). Calls that are not urgent in nature should continue to be directed to the Health Protection central line for follow up during regular business hours. Contacts deemed non-emergency will be redirected to an Environmental Health Officer (EHO) to action as necessary.
Examples of emergencies include, but may not be limited to:
- Significant public health risk
- Industrial camp notification (reporting of illness)
- Mass gathering disease outbreak
After hours environmental spills can be reported to HEMBC on-call number 24/7 at 1-855-554-3622 or 1-855-55-HEMBC.
HEMBC will notify/activate the appropriate Northern Health programs (i.e. Public Health, Acute care, etc.) based on the nature of the event or emergency. Please include this number in industry ERPs, for the use of permit holders in contacting Northern Health on an emergency basis.