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

News


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.

Invitation to Bid

The Chatham County Health Department Savannah is soliciting competitive sealed bids from firms that are interested in and capable of providing Housekeeping and Janitorial Services.
Proposals are due on February 21, 2020, at 2 p.m. 
Additional details and information can be found here:
Housekeeping ITB, 2020

Beach Advisories Lifted in Chatham & Glynn Counties

Updated Friday, January 3, 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.


Tuesday, December 31, 2019:

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

From Lovell Street to Inlet Avenue, which includes:

  • Middle Beach at Center Terrace
  • Strand Beach at the Pier
  • South Beach at Chatham Street

St. Simons Island

  • North Beach at Goulds Inlet (Fifteenth Street to Tenth Street)
  • South Beach at the Lighthouse (Ninth Street to the Pier)

Jekyll Island

  • Driftwood Beach (Beach KM Marker 1 to Tallu Fish Lane)
  • South Dunes Picnic Area Beach (Corsair Beach Park to South Water Tower)

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, 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 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.

County Health Departments Host No-Cost Flu Vaccine Clinic Dec. 12

Haven’t had your flu shot yet? Now you’ve got another good reason to get vaccinated: the Coastal Health District is hosting a one-day flu shot clinic on December 12th, offering vaccinations at no cost to you.

“A flu shot is your best protection against getting the flu,” says Dr. Lawton Davis, Health Director of the Coastal Health District. “No one wants to spend the holidays feeling miserable and spreading the flu to family members and friends. If you haven’t had your flu shot yet, we’re hoping this clinic will motivate you to get vaccinated.”

On Thursday, December 12th, all 8 counties in the Coastal Health District will offer flu shots from 8 am – 6 pm (some clinics close for lunch from noon-1 each day, so check the hours for your county).

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.

It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against the flu. Flu is already circulating in the state, so it is important to take preventive measures now.

Free Mammograms in Chatham County

The Chatham County Health Department’s Breast and Cervical Cancer Program (BCCP) is partnering with the St. Joseph’s/Candler Mobile Mammography Program to offer free mammograms from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Monday, December 9, at the Chatham County Health Department located at 1395 Eisenhower Drive in Savannah. Women who meet certain annual income guidelines and are 40-64 years of age without insurance will be eligible to receive a screening mammogram at no cost.

Appointments are preferred but walk-ins will be accepted. To make an appointment, please
call 356-2946.

Beach Advisories Lifted for Tybee Island

Updated November 15, 2019:

The Chatham County Health Department has lifted the bacteria-related beach water advisories for Tybee Island beaches.

Advisories have been lifted for:

  • Polk Street Beach (end of beach to jetty)
  • North Beach at Gulick Street (jetty to Lovell Street)
  • Middle Beach at Center Terrace (Lovell Street to 11th Street)

Recent water samples show that bacteria levels have dropped below EPA limits, and therefore the advisories have been lifted.


November 13, 2019:

The Chatham County Health Department has issued water quality advisories for 3 beach locations on Tybee Island. The advisory locations are:

  • Polk Street Beach (end of beach to jetty)
  • North Beach at Gulick Street (jetty to Lovell Street)
  • Middle Beach at Center Terrace (Lovell Street to 11th Street)

graphic showing the beach water advisory signsThese advisories are only for the areas specified above and do 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 weekly 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 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.

Raccoon in Georgetown Area Tests Positive for Rabies

A raccoon on Westminister Road in the Georgetown area of Chatham County has tested positive for rabies. A family dog had contact with the raccoon. The dog is up to date on rabies vaccinations and will undergo observation for 45 days as a precaution.

Several species of wild animals that are native to coastal Georgia – including raccoons, foxes, and bats – can carry rabies. Rabies is a potentially deadly virus that is primarily spread by infected animals. The Chatham County Health Department Environmental Health office offers these tips to protect you and your family from rabies:

  • Avoid contact with animals you don’t know.
  • Make sure your pets receive the proper immunizations. Dogs and cats should get rabies vaccines after 12 weeks of age, followed by a booster shot within one year and vaccination every 1-3 years depending on veterinary recommendation and vaccine used.
  • Do not handle, feed, or unintentionally attract wild animals with open garbage cans or by leaving pet food out at night.
  • Never adopt wild animals or bring them into your home. Do not try to nurse sick animals to health. Call animal control or a properly licensed animal rescue agency for assistance.
  • Teach children to never handle unfamiliar animals, wild or domestic, even if they appear friendly. “Love your own, leave other animals alone” is a good principle for children to learn.

Symptoms of rabies in animals include a change in behavior, biting, aggression, showing no fear of natural enemies (such as humans), foaming at the mouth, and paralysis.

If an animal ever bites you, seek medical care immediately and contact Chatham County Animal Services at 912-652-6575 and the Chatham County Environmental Health office at 912-356-2160.

Long County Health Department Schedules Flu Clinic

The Long County Health Department will hold a walk-in flu vaccination clinic from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, December 5. No appointment is necessary and flu shots will be given on a first come, first served basis. Cash, checks, credit cards, most major insurances, Medicaid, and Medicare will be accepted. Flu vaccine consent forms can be printed and filled out ahead of time at www.gachdorg/flu.

Getting vaccinated is the best protection against the flu and the flu vaccine is recommended for those six months of age and older. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), flu activity usually begins to pick up in October and flu season can last as late as May.

In addition to getting vaccinated, residents should also take the following actions to prevent flu:

  • Avoid close contact with sick people.
  • If you get sick with flu-like illness, stay home for at least 24 hours after the fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. The fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.
  • While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
  • Try to cough or sneeze into the corner of your elbow and not your hand or cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Germs spread this way.

World AIDS Day Observance Events Scheduled in Chatham County

The Coastal Health District HIV Prevention Program will  hold several “community conversations” along with free and confidential HIV testing events in observance of World AIDS Day.

Launched in 1988, World AIDS Day is observed every year on December 1. The Coastal Health District, along with organizations all over the world, holds events on and around that day to promote awareness of HIV, decrease stigma surrounding HIV, and advocate for an end to the HIV epidemic.

According to the World Health Organization, of the 37.9 million people living with HIV at the end of 2018, 79% received testing, 62% received treatment, and 53% had achieved suppression of the HIV virus with no risk of infecting others.

The theme of this year’s World AIDS Day, “Ending the HIV/AIDS Epidemic: Community by Community,” reflects the important role that communities play in all aspects of the HIV/AIDS epidemic – from breaking down barriers related to delivery of care, to ensuring that the epidemic remains on the forefront of both the political and human landscape.

Scheduled Events

“A Community Conversation in Observance of World AIDS Day”
West Broad Seventh-day Adventist Church
2501 Martin Luther King, Jr., Blvd.
Saturday, November 30
10:45 a.m.


“A Community Conversation in Observance of World AIDS Day”
Impact Church en Español
5975 Ogeechee Road
Sunday, December 1
2 p.m.


*Walgreens
2109 E. Victory Drive
Monday, December 2
3 p.m. – 7 p.m.
*(Gift cards to the first 50 people tested)


Star Castle*
550 Mall Blvd.
Thursday, December 5
8 p.m. – 1 a.m.
*(Free entry with HIV test. Gift cards to first 50 people tested. Must be 21+ or present valid college ID after 10 p.m.)

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.

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