Now vaccinating age 12+ in Chatham/Glynn. Info on COVID-19 Vaccine, Testing, Data:
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The Coastal Health District of Georgia serves the counties of Bryan, Camden, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long & McIntosh

News


Vaccination More Urgent Than Ever; COVID-19 Cases Increase and Delta Variant Spreads in Georgia

If you were waiting for the right time to get vaccinated, that time is now! The
Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is urging Georgians to get vaccinated as the
number of new COVID-19 cases increases daily and the Delta variant spreads.

The COVID case rate in Georgia has increased 204% over the last 14-day period. Yesterday
new cases totaled 4,612 – the highest daily number since mid-February. Hospitalizations have
increased by about 50% in the last 14 days, and deaths have increased by about 18% in the
same period. Vaccination has stalled statewide and only 40% of Georgians are fully vaccinated.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates the Delta variant accounts for
78% of new COVID cases in Georgia, making vaccination more urgent than ever. The Delta
variant spreads more than twice as easily from one person to another, compared with earlier
strains. The highest spread of cases and severe outcomes are happening in places with low
vaccination rates, and virtually all hospitalizations and deaths continue to be among the
unvaccinated.

“Unfortunately, we can expect COVID numbers to keep growing. People who are unvaccinated
or skip their second dose of vaccine are targets for infection,” said Kathleen E. Toomey, M.D.,
M.P.H., commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Health. “Getting vaccinated is the
best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and the Delta variant. High vaccination coverage
will reduce spread of the virus in your community and elsewhere – and help prevent new
variants from emerging.”

All Georgians aged 12 and older are urged to get vaccinated against COVID-19. If you receive
either Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, you must get your second dose to ensure you are fully
protected. Individuals are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their final dose of
vaccine.

COVID vaccines authorized for use in the U.S. are safe and effective against COVID-19 and the
variants that are circulating. Vaccination is the best defense at preventing severe illness,
hospitalizations and death. The delta variant is causing some “vaccine breakthrough infections,”
meaning infections in fully vaccinated people, but even so, most breakthrough infections are
mild. In areas with substantial and high transmission, the CDC recommends that everyone (including fully vaccinated individuals) wear a mask in public indoor settings to help prevent spread of COVID-19 and the Delta variant.

COVID vaccines are free and widely available statewide without insurance or identification. To find a vaccination location or to schedule an appointment, visit https://dph.georgia.gov/covid-vaccine.

COVID-19 Vaccination Service Relocating from Civic Center to Fire Station in Downtown Savannah

Today, July 29, 2021, is the final day COVID-19 vaccinations will be available at the Savannah Civic Center through the Coastal Health District’s mobile vaccination program. Beginning next Thursday, August 5th, the once-weekly vaccination clinic will be relocated to nearby Fire Station #3 at 121 East Oglethorpe Avenue in downtown Savannah.

The schedule will remain unchanged, with vaccinations available each Thursday from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. There is no cost for vaccination, and anyone age 12 and older can be vaccinated. The site offers Pfizer vaccine and the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Pre-registration is encouraged but not required, and walk ups are welcome. You can begin the registration process at chdcovidvax.org or by calling our COVID-19 vaccine call center at 912-230-5506.

Free COVID-19 testing by public health will continue at the Savannah Civic Center Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. and every first and third Saturday of the month from 8:30-11:30 a.m. Due to increased demand for testing, pre-registration is strongly encouraged but not required. Information is available at www.covidtestsavannah.org or by calling our COVID-19 testing call center at 912-230-9744.

For more information about COVID-19 testing and vaccination opportunities in the Coastal Health District, please visit covid19.gachd.org.

Beach Water Advisory Lifted for Capt. Wylly Rd. Crossover Beach on Jekyll Island

Update: July 28, 2021

The Glynn County Health Department has lifted the beach water advisory for Captain Wylly Road Crossover Beach, which is from Brice Lane to the beach pavilion on Jekyll Island.

The advisory was issued on July 27, 2021 after routine water quality tests showed a high level of enterococci bacteria which increase the risk of gastrointestinal illness in swimmers.

Subsequent water samples show the bacteria level has dropped below the Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended limits. Therefore, the advisory has been lifted.

For more information about beach water advisories, go to www.gachd.org and click on the Environmental Health tab at the top of the page.

July 27, 2021

The Glynn County Health Department has issued a swimming advisory for Capt. Wylly Road Crossover Beach, which is from Brice Lane to the beach pavilion on Jekyll Island.

The Department of Natural Resources – Coastal Resources Division tests water samples at Glynn County beaches throughout the year. The test screens for enterococcus (pronounced:
en·ter·o·coc·cus) bacteria, which are found in humans and some wildlife. The testing program is not related to the capsized motor vehicle carrier in St. Simons Sound.

When a beach is under advisory, it means the level of bacteria found in the water is above the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) recommended standards. Periodic advisories are not unusual, and sources of the bacteria could include animal waste, storm water runoff, or boating waste.

The advisory does NOT mean the beach is closed. Beach water advisories alert the public of a possible risk of illness associated with water contact in the advisory areas. The Health Department recommends you do not swim or wade in the water in the area under advisory. Fish and other seafood caught from the area should be thoroughly washed with fresh water and thoroughly cooked before eating, as should fish or seafood caught from any waters.

The area will be re-tested this week, and the advisory will be lifted when the bacteria levels meet the EPA’s recommended standards. For more information, visit our Beach Water Testing page.

Free COVID-19 Testing on Tuesdays & Thursdays in St. Marys Beginning Aug. 3

Beginning August 3rd, free COVID-19 testing will be available by appointment each Tuesday and Thursday morning at the Camden County Health Department in St. Marys. You must have an appointment for testing. COVID-19 testing appointments can be scheduled online at https://covid19.dph.ga.gov/ or by calling the COVID-19 testing call center at 912-230-9744.

“Testing is an important public health tool during an outbreak, and unfortunately, we’re seeing a huge surge of COVID-19 cases in the Camden County area,” said Dr. Lawton Davis, Health Director of the Coastal Health District. “Identifying cases can help us slow the spread of illness. We want to make it easier for residents in Camden County to get tested, whether they’re sick and want to know if it’s COVID, or because they’ve been exposed and are in quarantine.”

The expanded schedule begins August 3rd and will be reevaluated frequently. There is no cost to the client for testing through public health regardless of insurance status. Test results are typically available in 24-36 hours.

Free COVID-19 testing is also available by appointment at the Glynn County Health Department every Monday, Wednesday, Friday. COVID-19 testing appointments for the Glynn and Camden County locations can be scheduled online at https://covid19.dph.ga.gov/ or by calling the COVID-19 testing call center at 912-230-9744, Monday through Thursday from 8 am-5pm and Friday from 8am-2pm.

For more information about COVID-19 in the Coastal Health District, please visit covid19.gachd.org.

Beach Water Advisories Lifted in Chatham, Glynn Counties

Updated July 22, 2021

The Chatham and Glynn County Health Departments have lifted the beach water advisories on Tybee, St. Simons, and Jekyll Island.

The advisories were issued on July 20, 2021 after routine water quality tests showed a high level of enterococci bacteria which increase the risk of gastrointestinal illness in swimmers.

Subsequent water samples showed the bacteria levels had dropped below Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended limits. Therefore, the advisories have been lifted.


July 20, 2012

The Chatham County Health Department and Glynn County Health Department have issued beach water advisories for locations on Tybee, St. Simons, and Jekyll Islands.

Tybee Island

  • Polk Street Beach – from the north end of the island to the jetty
  • Tybee Strand Beach at the Pier – Eleventh St. to Eighteenth St.

St. Simons Island

  • North Beach at Goulds Inlet – Fifteenth St. to Tenth St.
  • East Beach Old Coast Guard Station – Tenth St. to Driftwood Dr.
  • Fifth Street Crossover Beach – Cedar St. to Ninth St.

Jekyll Island

  • North Beach at Dexter Lane – Tallu Fish Ln. to Brice Ln.
  • Capt. Wylly Rd Crossover Beach – Brice Ln. to Beach Pavilion
graphic showing the beach water advisory signs

The Department of Natural Resources – Coastal Resources Division tests water samples on Georgia beaches throughout the year. The tests screen for enterococcus (pronounced: en·ter·o·coc·cus) bacteria, which are found in humans and some wildlife. The testing program is not related to the capsized motor vehicle carrier in St. Simons Sound.

When a beach is under advisory, it means the level of bacteria found in the water is above the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) recommended standards. This does NOT mean the beach is closed.

The beach water advisory alerts the public of a possible risk of illness associated with water contact in the advisory area. The Health Department recommends you do not swim or wade in the water in the area under advisory. Fish and other seafood caught from this area should be thoroughly washed with fresh water and thoroughly cooked before eating, as should fish or seafood caught from any waters.

The area will be re-tested this week, and the advisory will be lifted when the bacteria levels meet the EPA’s recommended standards. For more information, visit our Beach Water Testing page.

Public Urged to Get Vaccinated as COVID-19 Rates Rise in Camden County

COVID-19 transmission and hospitalization rates have risen sharply in Camden County, and vaccination rates remain low. The Camden County Health Department and Southeast Georgia Health System are urging unvaccinated residents to take precautions against COVID-19 and get vaccinated as soon as possible.

“We are very concerned about the increase in the number of positive COVID-19 cases and the number of hospitalized patients,” said Michael D. Scherneck, president and CEO of the Southeast Georgia Health System. “We had hoped when the vaccine became available to everyone over age 12 we’d see a dramatic reduction in the number of positive cases. Our numbers did decline for a few weeks, but now our COVID-19 volumes have risen again.”

In the last three weeks, the COVID-19 transmission rate and test positivity rate in Camden County have tripled. “People are gathering and traveling more, there are fewer restrictions in place, and the more contagious delta variant is circulating,” said Angela Hartley, Clinical Director for the Coastal Health District. “When you combine these factors and our low vaccination rate, it’s not surprising to see this jump in cases. We really need more people to get vaccinated.”

Only 28% of eligible residents in Camden County are fully vaccinated, and only 39% in Glynn County. “For those of the ‘wait and see’ mindset, we urge you to get the vaccine now,” said Scherneck. “Even if you believe you’re healthy enough to withstand the illness, get the vaccine to protect your loved ones and your community.”

Free COVID-19 vaccine is also available at the Glynn and Camden County Health Departments. Camden County offers the Moderna vaccine for ages 18+ each Thursday, and the Glynn County Health Department offers Pfizer vaccine for ages 12+ every weekday. There is no cost for vaccination through CORE or the Health Department. Appointments are encouraged, but not required, and can be made by clicking the appointment link at chdcovidvax.org or by calling 912-230-5506.

Pfizer vaccines are available on the Southeast Georgia Health System Camden Campus each Monday from 8 am-1 pm, and on the Brunswick Campus each Tuesday from 8 am-1 pm. Appointments can be scheduled online at sghs.org/covid19-vaccine.

If individuals need no-cost transportation to any of these vaccine locations, a ride can be scheduled by calling 866-543-6744.

First Lady Jill Biden to Visit Vaccination Clinic in Chatham County

On Thursday, July 8th, First Lady Jill Biden will tour a COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Savannah to show her support for local efforts and encourage community residents to get vaccinated.

The mobile clinic will be held at Beach High School at 3001 Hopkins Street in Savannah from 2-4:30 p.m. Anyone age 12 and older who has not yet been vaccinated is encouraged to make an appointment at chdcovidvax.org. Walk-ins will be allowed, but appointments are preferred. There is no cost for vaccination, and Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines will be offered.

“We’re honored to welcome the First Lady to Savannah,” said Chatham County Health Department Nurse Manager Tammi Brown. “Our Health Department has given more than 67,000 vaccinations, but a majority of adults in Chatham County are still unvaccinated and at risk. We aren’t at the finish line yet, so we appreciate her support.”

The First Lady will be joined by Senator Raphael Warnock and Savannah Mayor Van Johnson for the tour and to deliver remarks at Beach High School. The visit is part of the White House Administration’s nation-wide effort to increase education and outreach about COVID-19 vaccination, and to reach the millions of Americans who still need protection against the virus.

Public Advised of Possible Oil Impacts on Jekyll & St. Simons Islands

Swimmers and fishers should remain alert for possible oil impacts in the water and shoreline around Jekyll and St. Simons Islands.

Yellow graphic text swimming fishing use caution

Oil was released into the water Thursday during cutting and removal of a section of the Golden Ray, a capsized ship in the St. Simons Sound. According to the St. Simons Sound Incident Unified Command, response teams are watching the shoreline 24-hours a day so they can quickly remove any oily substances that reach the shore.

If you are swimming and see a sheen of oil on the surface of the water, get out of the water and report the sheen to the U.S. Coast Guard National Response Center at 1-800-424-8802. Do not swim or fish in an area with a visible oil sheen.

If you step on a tar ball or get oil on your skin, wash off the oil with soap and clean water. There is no need to use harsh detergents, solvents, or other chemicals to wash oil from skin or clothing – these could be harmful to you.

Additionally, shoreline survey teams continue to recover small pieces of debris related to the Golden Ray wreck removal. If you encounter what you believe is debris from the Golden Ray wreck, please do not handle the debris. Call the Debris Reporting Hotline at (912) 944-5620.

For additional information about today’s operations, visit the response website at https://www.stsimonssoundincidentresponse.com/post/section-three-cut-complete.

For more information about the public health impacts, visit our response web page.

Apply Now for the Coastal Health District Hurricane Registry

Every coastal resident should plan ahead for a possible hurricane evacuation, but this planning is critical for individuals with physical or medical challenges. If you or a loved one has medical issues and no way to evacuate before a storm, now is the time to apply for the Coastal Health District’s Hurricane Registry.

The Hurricane Registry is a list of adults or children who live at home under the care of family or trained medical professionals, but who would require special assistance in a shelter or healthcare facility during an evacuation. Additionally, individuals on the registry must have no other way to evacuate safely.

“The Hurricane Registry is truly a safety net,” said Dr. Lawton Davis, Health Director of the Coastal Health District. “If our area is ordered to evacuate, we don’t want these individuals trapped at home because they didn’t have the resources to leave and a medically appropriate place to go. But we can’t prepare if we don’t know their situation, which is why they need to apply in advance.”

The Hurricane Registry is managed by the local health department in each of the 8 counties of the Coastal Health District, including Bryan, Camden, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long, and McIntosh. You must apply to be on the registry in advance. You can begin the process by calling the Hurricane Registry hotline toll-free at 1-833-CHD-REGISTER (1-833-243-7344) or downloading an application at gachd.org/registry.

All coastal residents are also urged to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as possible. These vaccines would be especially important for protecting you and those around you in a shelter environment. Some vaccines require two doses several weeks apart, and it takes time for the body to build immunity after vaccination, so don’t delay.

For more information about the hurricane registry, visit gachd.org/registry.

Beach Water Advisory Lifted on Jekyll Island

Updated June 24, 2021

The Glynn County Health Department has lifted the advisory for North Beach at Dexter Lane, which is from Tallu Fish Lane to Brice Lane on Jekyll Island.

The advisory was issued on June 22, 2021 after routine water quality tests showed a high level of enterococci bacteria which increase the risk of gastrointestinal illness in swimmers.

Subsequent water samples showed the bacteria levels had dropped below Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended limits. Therefore, the advisory has been lifted.


The Glynn County Health Department has issued a beach water advisory for North Beach at Dexter Lane, which is from Tallu Fish Lane to Brice Lane on Jekyll Island.

graphic showing the beach water advisory signs

The Department of Natural Resources – Coastal Resources Division tests water samples on Glynn County beaches throughout the year. The tests screen for enterococcus (pronounced: en·ter·o·coc·cus) bacteria, which are found in humans and some wildlife. The testing program is not related to the capsized motor vehicle carrier in St. Simons Sound.

When a beach is under advisory, it means the level of bacteria found in the water is above the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) recommended standards. This does NOT mean the beach is closed.

The beach water advisory alerts the public of a possible risk of illness associated with water contact in the advisory area. The Health Department recommends you do not swim or wade in the water in the area under advisory. Fish and other seafood caught from this area should be thoroughly washed with fresh water and thoroughly cooked before eating, as should fish or seafood caught from any waters.

The area will be re-tested this week, and the advisory will be lifted when the bacteria levels meet the EPA’s recommended standards. For more information, visit our Beach Water Testing page.