The Coastal Health District of Georgia serves the counties of Bryan, Camden, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long & McIntosh

News


Fun, Free, HIV Education Event for Women Scheduled March 1

Every year in March we observe National Women & Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NWAGHAAD) to raise awareness about the need for all women to be tested and treated for HIV. This year, the Coastal Health District HIV Prevention Program and Adolescent Health and Youth Development Program have partnered to host “I Am Queen,” a fun, informative event designed to provide women of all ages a relaxed atmosphere in which to discuss sexually transmitted diseases (STD) and HIV.

The event will take place from 2 p.m. – 6 p.m. on Sunday, March 1, at Victory North located at 2603 Whitaker Street in Savannah.

I Am Queen will include education, food, music, and giveaways. Free, confidential HIV testing will also be available. I Am Queen is focused on empowering women to take control of their sexual health while reducing the stigma around HIV.

Women interested can register at https://IAMQUEENMARCH1.eventbrite.com

Chatham County Health Department Opens Dental Clinic for Children

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held today for the Chatham County Health Department Dental Clinic for Children. In attendance were public health representatives, Chatham County Board of Health members, and city and county officials. The Dental Clinic will serve children ages 0-17. The Dental Clinic features three treatment rooms and an X-ray room and offers services including cleanings, sealants, fillings, extractions, X-rays, and fluoride treatments.

The Dental Clinic is open Monday through Friday during regular health department hours. Reduced fees are available based on proof of income which should be presented at the first visit. The Dental Clinic also accepts Medicaid, Amerigroup, Peach State, WellCare, and CareSource.

“Our big emphasis is on cavity prevention in children,” said Dental Director for the Coastal Health District, Debra Smith, DMD. “As soon as that first tooth appears, there’s an opportunity for cavities. That’s why it is so important for children to see a dentist before the age of one.”

Dr. Smith, along with a dental hygienist, will also focus on educating parents on the importance of good dental hygiene. The Dental Clinic will help bridge the gap in access to dental care for children who are un- or under-insured.

“Dental care can be difficult to afford without insurance. By accepting all forms of Medicaid and allowing reduced fees for eligible families, we hope to fill a need for children who have limited options for dental services,” said Coastal Health District Health Director, Lawton Davis, M.D.

For more information on the Chatham County Health Department Dental Clinic, click HERE or call 912-691-6229.

Travelers Returning to Georgia from China Self-Monitoring for Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Symptoms

The following press release was issued by the Georgia Department of Public Health on February 11, 2020:

Under the supervision of the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH), about 200 individuals who have recently returned from China are self-monitoring for symptoms of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus). These travelers arrived in the U.S. from mainland China outside Hubei Province with no known high-risk exposure. These individuals are asymptomatic (no symptoms) and are self-isolating at home.

DPH receives a list every day from Customs and Border Protection (CBP) with the names of Georgia travelers coming from China. DPH epidemiologists contact the individuals by phone to establish a plan for self-monitoring and provide instructions on how to contact DPH before seeking health care if they develop fever, cough or shortness of breath. There are no Georgia travelers who have returned from Wuhan or Hubei Province requiring quarantine.

To slow the potential spread of COVID-19 to the United States, on January 31, President Trump issued a federal proclamation that included a travel ban for non-U.S. citizens entering the country from China and funneling flights from China to one of 11 airports in the U.S., including Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson International Airport.

In addition, the proclamation requires mandatory 14-day quarantine for returning travelers who have been in the Hubei Province (high risk) and 14 days of supervised self-monitoring for returning travelers from anywhere else in China (medium risk).

The CDC says the overall risk of coronavirus to the general public is low, but the best way to prevent infection of any respiratory virus is:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or use a tissue to cover it, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Flu is still widespread and active in Georgia. The best prevention against the flu is vaccination – it’s not too late to get a flu shot.

For More Information

Beach Advisories Lifted for Glynn County Beaches

Updated February 12, 2020:

Recent water samples show that bacteria levels have dropped below EPA limits, therefore the beach water advisories for Massengale Park Beach on St. Simons Island and Driftwood Beach on Jekyll Island have been lifted.


February 11, 2020

The Glynn County Health Department issued the following beach water advisories on Tuesday, February 11, 2020:

  • St. Simons Island: Massengale Park Beach (Driftwood Drive to Cedar Street)
  • Jekyll Island: Driftwood Beach (Beach KM Marker 1 to Tallu Fish Lane)

graphic showing the beach water advisory signsThe Department of Natural Resources – Coastal Resources Division tests water samples on St. Simons and Jekyll Islands 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.

These 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 areas under advisory. Fish and other seafood caught from these areas should be thoroughly washed with fresh water and thoroughly cooked before eating, as should fish or seafood caught from any waters.

The areas will be re-tested this week, and the advisories will be lifted when the bacteria levels meet the EPA’s recommended standards.

For more information, visit our Beach Water Testing Program page.

Get To Know Your Health Department: Community Event in Savannah Feb. 13

The Coastal Health District Chronic Disease Prevention Program is hosting a community event to give our neighbors an opportunity to learn about Heart Disease and Diabetes Prevention Programs, smoking cessation classes, the Women, Infants, and Children program and other health department services. Free blood pressure screens and blood glucose tests will also be offered.

The event will be held Thursday, February 13 from 5-7 p.m. at the Pennsylvania Avenue Resource Center at 425 Pennsylvania Avenue in Savannah.

For more information, please contact Cristina Gibson at 912.484.1885 or cristina.gibson@dph.ga.gov

Free HIV Testing Events in February

The Coastal Health District HIV Prevention Program will hold free HIV testing events at  several locations throughout the month of February in observance of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD). Although the events are being held to bring awareness to HIV/AIDS education, testing, and treatment among black communities, these testing events – and all HIV testing events offered in the Coastal Health District – are open to the public.

The following events have been scheduled:

Thursday, February 6
12:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Georgia Southern University, Armstrong Campus, Savannah

*Friday, February 7
11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Walgreens, 2270 U.S. Hwy. 17, Richmond Hill
* (The first 25 people to be tested at the event in Richmond Hill will receive gift cards).

Saturday, February 8
12 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Savannah Civic Center (Black Heritage Festival)

Monday, February 10
12:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Georgia Southern University, Liberty Campus, Hinesville

Wednesday, February 12 and February 19
Time TBD
Savannah State University

Thursday, February 13
11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
College of Coastal Georgia, Brunswick

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), blacks/African Americans accounted for 43 percent of all HIV diagnoses in the United States in 2017. Currently, there are around 1.2 million people in the United States are living with HIV, and one in eight people don’t know they have it. Getting tested and getting those who are HIV positive into treatment right away is vital in stopping the HIV epidemic.

As a reminder, HIV testing is always free at all health departments in Bryan, Camden, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long, and McIntosh counties and available Monday through Friday during regular health department hours of operation.

Beach Advisory Lifted for Tybee Strand Beach

Updated January 30, 2020:

The beach water advisory for Tybee Strand Beach has been lifted. Recent water samples show that bacteria levels have dropped below EPA limits, and therefore the advisory has been lifted. There are currently no water quality advisories on Tybee Island.


January 28, 2020:

The Chatham County Health Department has issued a water quality advisory for Tybee Strand Beach at the Pier, which stretches from 11th Street to 18th Street on Tybee Island.

graphic showing the beach water advisory signsThe advisory is only for the area specified above and does not impact the other beach areas on the island. There is no way of knowing if going into water that is under advisory will result in illness. However, these beach water advisories are to alert the public of a possible risk of illness associated with water contact. An area under advisory does not mean the beach is closed.

Water samples are collected routinely on Tybee Island, and tested for enterococcus (pronounced: en·ter·o·coc·cus) bacteria which is found in warm blooded animals including humans but also birds, raccoons, deer, dolphins and other wildlife. It is difficult to determine exactly where the bacteria come from, but some sources could include animal waste, storm water runoff, or boating waste. When a beach is under advisory, it means that the level of bacteria found in the water is above the Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended standards.

The Chatham County 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, and the advisory will be lifted when tests show the bacteria level meets the Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended standards.

For more information, visit our Beach Water Testing Program page.

Georgia Counties Share Car Seat Mini Grant

ATLANTA – The Georgia Department of Public Health’s (DPH), Injury Prevention Program, Child Occupant Safety Project, is pleased to announce the 2019 recipients of the Child Passenger Safety MiniGrant. The Child Passenger Safety MiniGrant program helps county health departments and their community partners reduce the number of injuries and deaths among children in Georgia. This year’s $166,000 award will be used to support the purchase of car seats to be distributed in over 107 Georgia counties.  Funding for these efforts is provided by the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS).

And it works! Since 2007, the education, car seats and booster seats provided through the Mini Grant prevented serious injury or death and has saved over 375 of Georgia’s children who were involved in crashes.

“Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death for children and it’s up to all of us to do everything we can to protect our children on the road,” said Kathleen E. Toomey, Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Health. “Buckling up our children is the best way to save lives and reduce injuries.”

Throughout Georgia, DPH and county health departments work with community partners to educate parents and caregivers on how to properly install and use car seats, offer car seat inspections and provide car seats and booster seats to financially eligible families. Through the Car Seat Mini-Grant, agencies supporting more than 143 counties are working to keep Georgia’s children safe.  These programs help families get their children buckled up right, every trip, every time.

DPH takes great pride in providing opportunities to enhance community outreach programs in Georgia. Through our collective efforts, we can make considerable strides in achieving our goals. For more information on the child Occupant Safety Project, please email injury@dph.ga.gov or call the office at 404-463-1487.

2020 County Mini Grant Awardees:

Appling, Atkinson, Bacon, Banks, Barrow, Ben Hill, Berrien, Bibb, Brooks, Bryan, Bulloch, Burke, Butts, Camden, Carroll, Charlton, Chatham, Chattahoochee, Cherokee, Clarke, Clay, Clayton, Cobb, Coffee, Colquitt, Columbia, Cook, Crawford, Crisp, Dade, Dawson, DeKalb, Dougherty, Douglas, Early, Echols, Elbert, Fannin, Fayette, Forsyth, Franklin, Fulton, Gilmer, Glynn, Gordon, Greene, Habersham, Haralson, Harris, Hart, Henry, Houston, Irvin, Jasper, Jeff Davis, Jones, Lamar, Lanier, Laurens, Lee, Liberty, Lincoln, Long, Lowndes, Macon, Marion, McDuffie, McIntosh, Meriwether, Morgan, Murray, Muscogee, Newton, Oconee, Paulding, Pickens, Pike, Polk, Quitman, Randolph, Richmond, Rockdale, Schley, Spalding, Stephens, Stewart, Sumter, Taliaferro, Tattnall, Telfair, Terrell, Thomas, Tift, Troup, Twiggs, Union, Upson, Walton, Ware, Warren, Washington, Webster, White, Whitfield, Wilcox, Wilkinson, Worth.

Beach Advisories Lifted in Chatham & Glynn Counties

Updated January 16, 2020:

The beach water advisories in Chatham & Glynn Counties have been lifted.

Recent water samples show that bacteria levels have dropped below EPA limits, and therefore the advisories have been lifted on Tybee, St. Simons Island & Jekyll Island.


January 14, 2020:

The health departments in Chatham and Glynn Counties have issued water quality advisories for beach locations on Tybee, St. Simons, and Jekyll Islands.

The advisory locations are:

  • Tybee Island: Polk Street Beach (from the end of the beach on the north side of the island to the jetty)
  • St. Simons Island: Fifth Street Crossover Beach (from Cedar Street to 9th Street)
  • Jekyll Island: Driftwood Beach (Beach KM Marker 1 to Tallu Fish Lane)

graphic showing the beach water advisory signsThese advisories are only for the areas specified above and do not impact the other beach areas on these islands. There is no way of knowing if going into water that is under advisory will result in illness. However, these beach water advisories are to alert the public of a possible risk of illness associated with water contact. An area under advisory does not mean the beach is closed.

Water samples are collected weekly on these islands except in winter, when samples are collected every two weeks. The samples are tested for enterococcus (pronounced: en·ter·o·coc·cus) bacteria which is found in warm blooded animals including humans but also birds, raccoons, deer, dolphins and other wildlife. It is difficult to determine exactly where the bacteria come from, but some sources could include animal waste, storm water runoff, or boating waste. When a beach is under advisory, it means that the level of bacteria found in the water is above the Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended standards.

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 areas will be re-tested, and the advisories will be lifted when tests show the bacteria levels meet the Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended standards.

For more information, visit our Beach Water Testing Program page.

Free Drive-Through Flu Shot Clinic in Ludowici January 15

This new year, make a resolution to protect your health by getting a flu shot. The Long County Health Department is hosting a drive-through flu vaccination clinic on January 15th from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. in the IGA parking lot off Highway 84 in Ludowici. Just drive up, complete some paperwork and get vaccinated – you don’t even have to get out of the car.

“Our lives are so busy sometimes it’s hard to fit in a trip to the doctor for your flu shot,” says Betty Dixon, Clinical Coordinator for the Coastal Health District. “If you haven’t had your flu shot yet, we hope you’ll take advantage of this opportunity for a quick, convenient, and no-cost immunization.”

During the drive-through clinic, if you don’t have insurance, the flu vaccination will be provided for free. If you do have insurance, we’ll bill your insurance company, but you’ll pay no out-of-pocket cost. Vaccinations will be available for children, adults and senior citizens.

To save even more time, you can click the button below to download and print the vaccine consent form. Bring the completed form with you to the drive-through clinic on January 15th.

It’s not too late to get a flu shot. The flu season in our area typically peaks around February, so there are still several months when the virus may be circulating in our community. A flu shot is your best protection against getting the flu.

Visit our flu web page for more information about flu vaccination and preventing the spread of influenza.