The Louisiana Department of Health announced today the reopening of oyster harvesting Area 5 after working with a specialist with the federal Food and Drug Administration and determining there was no oil intrusion.

This harvest area, which was originally closed July 5, 2010, is east of the Mississippi River in St. Bernard Parish. The harvesting area was closed as a precaution in anticipation of possible oil intrusion. To view a map, click here:

LDH Interim Secretary Tony Keck and State Health Officer Dr. Jimmy Guidry signed the order today to reopen Area 5, which will take effect at sunrise August 17.

In addition to regular testing schedules, LDH sanitarians are conducting enhanced testing of oyster meat taken from the closed beds to monitor the presence of oil. Oysters being harvested in areas open for harvesting have been deemed safe by DHH.

Areas 2, 3, 8, 11, through 15 and 23 remain closed. In addition, areas 9, 10, 17, 19 and 21 remain partially closed. All other areas are open.

The public is encouraged to call a toll-free hotline, 1-800-256-2775, to report the presence of oil or an oil sheen.

For more information related to the oil spill, visit Connect with us on and on Twitter as @GOHSEP. View photos from the state's response efforts at