Local COVID-19 Testing Events & Information
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The Coastal Health District of Georgia serves the counties of Bryan, Camden, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long & McIntosh

News


COVID-19 Testing Schedule Expanded

The Health Departments in Bryan, Camden, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long, and McIntosh Counties have expanded their testing schedules to offer more COVID-19 testing appointments each week.

The Glynn County Health Department will now offer testing by appointment Monday through Friday and alternating Saturdays. The Health Departments in Bryan, Camden, Effingham, Liberty, Long, and McIntosh are expanding from one day of testing per week to two days each week.

COVID-19 testing in Richmond Hill is still available 7 days per week. Testing by the Chatham County Health Department is available Monday through Friday and alternating Saturdays.

For a full schedule and more details, visit our COVID-19 Testing Page.

Online Self-Scheduling Now Available for COVID-19 Testing at Glynn County Health Department

You can now schedule an appointment online for COVID-19 testing at the Glynn County Health Department. Simply access the self-service portal, take a brief screening questionnaire, and book your appointment for testing. Click here for instructions and a link to the self-service portal.

“We want to make the scheduling process as easy as possible,” said Dr. Lawton Davis, Health Director of the Coastal Health District. “If you prefer a phone call, you can still call us to schedule a COVID-19 test. But adding an online option gives our community even more ways to connect with us for testing.”

Online scheduling will be available for additional counties soon. To schedule an appointment by telephone or to get testing information for any Coastal Health District counties, call our COVID-19 Testing Call Center at 1-912-230-9744.

Anyone can be tested, and there is no fee. If you believe you’ve been exposed to someone with COVID-19, please remember to quarantine at home for 14 days, and schedule an appointment for testing around the 10th day. Testing cannot be scheduled more than 2 weeks in advance.

For a list of free COVID-19 testing options through the Coastal Health District, visit our COVID-19 testing page.

Beach Advisory Lifted for Tybee Strand Beach

Update: July 7, 2020

The Chatham County Health Department has lifted the beach water advisory for Tybee Strand Beach at the Pier on Tybee Island.

The advisory was issued on July 2, 2020 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 that the bacteria levels had dropped below Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended limits. Therefore, the advisory has been lifted.


July 2, 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.

New Testing Site Locations, Operations in the Coastal Health District Beginning July 6

The Coastal Health District is making several changes to its COVID-19 testing program to reduce long lines and wait times at some testing sites, and to better protect staff members from the weather.

Testing in Chatham County will move to the Savannah Civic Center on July 6th. Drivers will enter from Oglethorpe Avenue and queue in the Civic Center parking lot. The drive-through line will route cars into a sheltered cargo area inside the Civic Center where Health Department staff will collect specimens for testing.

In Glynn County, the Health Department will transition to an appointment-only testing process on July 8th. You can begin calling 1-912-230-9744 to schedule an appointment for Glynn County on Monday, July 6th.

Beginning next week, all testing by the Coastal Health District in Bryan, Camden, Effingham, Liberty, Long, and McIntosh Counties will be by appointment only. Call 1-912-230-9744 to schedule an appointment.

The district is also adding 17 contract nurses and 42 temporary administrative support personnel at specimen collection sites and testing call centers across the 8-county region.

Click the button below for a list of testing sites and operational hours, and for information about scheduling appointments:

COVID-19 Testing Information

Independence Day Schedule for Public Health Offices

Health Department clinics, Environmental Health offices, and Coastal Health District offices will close at 5 p.m. on Thursday, July 2nd and remain closed Friday, July 3rd in observance of Independence Day. Clinics and offices will resume normal operations on Monday, July 6th. There will be no COVID-19 testing events operated by the Coastal Health District July 3-5.

Saharan Dust Cloud Moves Over Georgia; DPH Urges Precautions to Protect Health

The Georgia Department of Public Health is urging people, especially individuals with chronic lung conditions, to protect themselves from dust from the Saharan dust cloud as it moves over Georgia. The dust cloud is expected to be around for the next few days.

The dust can cause eye, nose and throat irritation for anyone who comes in contact with it, and may cause wheezing in people with allergies or asthma.

The best advice is to limit exposure to the dust and take precautions to protect your health:

  • If it appears hazy or dusty outside, limit outdoor activities such as yard work, exercise, children playing.
  • Wear a face mask outside to keep dust particles out of the nose and mouth, and to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
  • Pay attention to local air quality reports and news coverage related to the dust plume.
  • Keep indoor air as clean as possible. Keep windows and doors closed. Run an air conditioner if you have one, but keep the fresh-air intake closed.

Follow the advice of your doctor or other health care provider about medicines and condition management if you have asthma or another lung condition.

If you experience a medical emergency, call 911.

Strong, warm winds over the Sahara desert typically kick up sand at this time of year and carry it thousands of miles across the Atlantic Ocean. This year, the dust is more dense than it’s been in 50-60 years.

Georgia DPH Asks Residents to ‘Answer the Call’ in New Contact Tracing Video

The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is releasing a new video explaining the state’s COVID-19 contact tracing efforts, asking residents to ‘answer the call’ if DPH reaches out.

This video is part of a larger campaign rolling out across the state promoting the Healthy Georgia Collaborative, DPH’s expanded contact tracing program to combat the spread of COVID-19. Contact tracing is an important public health tool used to monitor the spread of infection and identify outbreaks of COVID-19 before they become widespread community transmission.

Since May, the Healthy Georgia Collaborative has deployed about 1,300 contact tracers and case investigators statewide to interview individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19, and then alert, quarantine and test contacts who may have been exposed. To date, 16,590 cases have been interviewed and 40,082 contacts identified.

“For contact tracing to be successful, education is critical,” said DPH Commissioner Kathleen E. Toomey, M.D., M.P.H. “We need residents to understand what contact tracing is, why it’s important, and how they can participate in helping Georgia stop the spread of COVID-19.”

Beyond explaining the contact tracing process, DPH’s new video also urges residents to “Answer the Call!” When contacts of COVID-19 cases are identified, the first and fastest way that DPH can notify them of their exposure is by calling. “If you don’t pick up the phone,” explains Dr. Toomey, “Then we can’t alert you and get you the support you need. This puts yourself and others at risk of getting sick.”

To encourage participation and reduce scams, when DPH calls, the caller ID will say, “GA COVID Team.” Contact tracers will provide resources and information on testing, symptom monitoring and protection for family members. Any information provided to DPH staff members is kept confidential per HIPAA, which is the law that protects an individual’s personal health information. Georgia’s contact tracing program does not use GPS or Bluetooth technology to track movements of residents.

Contact tracers will never ask for personal information like Social Security numbers, credit card information or citizenship status. If you suspect fraudulent activity or know of someone else who has experienced this, please contact the DPH COVID-19 hotline immediately to report: 1-844-442-2681.

For more information about COVID-19 visit covid19.gachd.org, or the GDPH site at https://dph.georgia.gov/novelcoronavirus.

Beach Advisory Lifted on Tybee Island

The Chatham County Health Department has lifted the beach water advisory for Tybee Strand Beach at the Pier on Tybee Island.

The advisory was issued on June 9, 2020 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 that the bacteria levels had dropped below Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended limits. Therefore, the advisory has been lifted.

For more information, visit our beach water testing page.

National HIV Testing Day Event, June 27

In observance of National HIV Testing Day, the Coastal Health District will hold a drive-through testing event from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 27th, in the parking lot of the Chatham County Health Department at 1395 Eisenhower Drive. Results will be available in one minute. A follow-up visit will be scheduled for anyone who tests positive and counseling will be made available to those individuals.

Those getting tested will receive free giveaways, including gift cards. Staff will also be available to discuss HIV prevention options such as PrEP, the daily pill to prevent HIV.

Around 1.2 million people in the United States are living with HIV, and one in eight people do not know they have it. National HIV Testing Day is an opportunity to raise awareness, encourage people to get the facts, tested, get involved, and get linked to care and treatment services.

This year’s National HIV Testing Day theme is about the “Power of Knowing” – knowing your HIV status, risk, prevention, and treatment options. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 get tested for HIV at least once as part of routine health care. People at higher risk should get tested more often.

As a reminder, HIV testing is free by appointment 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.

Anyone with questions about testing can call Diane DeVore at (912) 644-5828 or e-mail Diane.Devore@dph.ga.gov.

#GetTested #KnowYourStatus #ENDHIVstigma #ThisIsPublicHealth

Beach Advisories Lifted on St. Simons Island & Jekyll Island

The Glynn County Health Department has lifted the bacteria-related beach water advisories on St. Simons Island and Jekyll Island.

Advisories have been lifted for:

  • North Beach at Goulds Inlet – from Fifteenth to Tenth Streets on St. Simons Island
  • East Beach at the Old Coast Guard Station – from Tenth Street to Driftwood Drive on St. Simons Island
  • Driftwood Beach – from Beach KM Marker 1 to Tallu Fish Lane on Jekyll Island

The advisories were issued on June 9, 2020 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 that the bacteria levels had dropped below Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended limits. Therefore, the advisories have been lifted.

For more information, visit our beach water testing page.