Chatham County WIC will be closed for staff training July 1 & 2
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The Coastal Health District of Georgia serves the counties of Bryan, Camden, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long & McIntosh

Glynn News


National HIV Testing Day Events

The Coastal Health District HIV Prevention Program will hold free HIV testing events on June 27 in observance of National HIV Testing Day. Testing will take place from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the following locations:

Walgreens, 2109 E. Victory Drive, Savannah
Walgreens, 11509 Abercorn St., Savannah
Walgreens, 4210 Augusta Rd., Garden City
Walgreens, 4575 Altama Avenue, Brunswick

Testing is confidential and results will be available in one minute. A follow-up visit will be scheduled for anyone who test positive and counseling will be made available to those individuals. In addition to free HI testing, there will be staff available to discuss HIV prevention options such as PrEP, the daily pill t prevent HIV, and treatment as prevention. Gift cards and door prizes will also be given out at the testing events.

HIV testing is recommended as part of routine health care, yet many Americans are not being tested as often as advised. Whether living with HIV or not, there are more options than ever to stay healthy. The first step is knowing your status and getting tested for HIV.  National HIV Testing Day is an opportunity to normalize HIV testing and encourage people to   make it part of routine health care.

Our testing events are part of a nationwide activation in 245 cities with Walgreens, Greater Than AIDS, health departments, and local organizations to normalize HIV testing and encourage people to make it part of routine health care.

The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates around 1.2 million people in the United States are living with HIV, and one in eight people don’t know they have it. National HIV Testing Week is an opportunity to raise awareness, encourage people to get the facts, tested, get involved, and get linked to care and treatment services.

As a reminder, HIV testing is 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.

Beach Advisory Issued on St. Simons Island

The Glynn County Health Department has issued a beach water quality advisory for South Beach at the lighthouse (from 9th Street to the pier) on St. Simons Island.

The advisory is only for the area specified above and does not impact any other beaches on the island. There is no way of knowing if going into water that is under advisory will result in illness; however, this beach water advisory is 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 tested only 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 Glynn County 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 area will be retested and the advisory will be lifted when tests show the bacteria level meets the Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended standards.

To view an interactive map of all beach water testing locations in Georgia, visit gahealthybeaches.org.

Frequently Asked Questions about Beach Water Advisories
Why is the water tested and what is it tested for?
The water is tested as part of the Environmental Protection Agency’s beach monitoring program which includes all Georgia beaches. Water samples are taken all along the 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.

Do you know where the bacteria come from?
It is difficult to determine exactly where the bacteria come from but some sources could include animal waste, storm water runoff, or boating waste.

What does it mean 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. When the level of bacteria is higher than it should be there is increased risk of illness to swimmers so the public is advised not to swim or wade in the water in that particular area.

Will I get sick if I go into water that is under advisory?
There is no way to say for sure whether or not you will get sick if you go into water that is under advisory but you will be at an increased risk of illness. Risk of illness comes from contacting beach water in several ways including ingesting water while swimming, getting water in the nose, eyes, and ears or getting water in an open wound. Some examples of possible illness include possible stomach upset, ear infection, sore throat, or wound infection.

What do I do if I have been swimming in water that was under advisory but I didn’t realize it?
There is no way to say for sure whether or not you will get sick if you were swimming or wading in water that was under advisory. The best thing to do is to be aware of any changes in your health. If you start to experience stomach upset, ear infection, sore throat, or wound infection, after you have been in contact with water that was under advisory, contact a healthcare provider.

Is the beach closed?
No, the beach is not closed. An advisory simply means that increased levels of bacteria were found in the water, not on the beach, which is why public health suggests no swimming or wading in the water (risk of illness comes from contact with the water).

Does the advisory cover the entire island?
No. An advisory only covers a certain area. Even if part of the beach is under advisory there are plenty of other beach access points to areas that aren’t under advisory.

How do you know the bacteria are only in one certain area of the water?
Beaches have been divided up into zones. Water samples are taken from the center of each zone and if bacteria levels are found to be higher in a certain zone then an advisory is issued for that area. Because it’s not possible to determine exactly where the bacteria levels switch from “okay” to “elevated,” the advisory is issued for a fairly large area. If water samples from more than one zone indicate higher levels of bacteria then multiple advisories will be issued but again, only for the areas where bacteria is higher.

How long do areas stay under advisory?
When an advisory is issued, another sample of the water in the area under advisory is taken within a few days and retested. An area will stay under advisory until the test shows that bacteria in the water have decreased to an acceptable level as determined by the Environmental Protection Agency.

How often is beach water tested?
Water at the beaches on Jekyll, St. Simons, and Tybee Islands is tested once a week, year-round. Beaches that are under permanent advisory are tested once a quarter (four times a year).

What does it mean if a beach is under a permanent advisory?
A permanent advisory means that there are continually elevated bacteria levels indicating a potential human health risk and therefore swimming or wading is advised against.

Can I eat fish I’ve caught from a beach that’s under advisory?
Yes, fish and other seafood caught in area(s) should be thoroughly washed with fresh water and thoroughly cooked before eating as should fish or seafood caught from any waters.

For more information, visit our beach water testing page.

WIC Farmers Markets Scheduled

The Coastal Health District Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program will hold farmers markets for WIC clients at health departments in Chatham, Liberty, Glynn, and McIntosh counties in June and July:

Glynn County Health Department
2747 Fourth Street, Brunswick
9 a.m. – 2 p.m., June 17, 18, and 20
9 a.m.- 1 p.m., June 21

McIntosh County Health Department
1335 GA Hwy. 57, Townsend
9 a.m.-2 p.m., June 19

Liberty County Health Department
1113 E. Oglethorpe Hwy., Hinesville
9 a.m. – 2 p.m. on June 24, 25, 26, and 27
9 a.m. – 1 p.m. June 28

Chatham County Health Department
1395 Eisenhower Drive, Savannah
9 a.m. – 2 p.m., July 8, 9, 10, and 11
9 a.m. – 1 p.m., July 12

The Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program is a special nutrition program that provides nutritional education, food supplements, and referrals to health care providers to eligible women, infants, and children. WIC helps eligible pregnant, breastfeeding or postpartum women, as well as infants and children up to age five.

At least once a year, the WIC program hosts farmers markets to provide fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables to WIC participants. Produce at the farmers market is provided at no cost to WIC clients who present a WIC ID card at the market. The market will remain open on the scheduled days and times until produce runs out.

All WIC services are free of charge. WIC can provide special checks to buy healthy foods from WIC-authorized vendors (such as milk, eggs, bread, cereal, juice, peanut butter, and more), information about nutrition and health to help you and your family eat well and be healthy, support and information about breastfeeding your baby, and help in finding health care and other community services.

To find out if you are eligible for WIC please call (toll-free) 1-855-262-7670. or go to gachd.org/wic and complete the WIC Eligibility Assessment.

WIC is an equal opportunity provider.

Now Is the Time to Apply for the Coastal Health District Hurricane Registry

The Hurricane Registry is a crucial safety net for coastal residents with medical or functional needs who have no other way to evacuate before a storm

Hurricane evacuations save lives. But for coastal residents with certain medical concerns or physical challenges and no transportation, evacuation is nearly impossible.

That’s why the community needs to know about the Coastal Health District Hurricane Registry.

The Hurricane Registry is a list of people with specific healthcare conditions who would need help evacuating from the 8 Georgia counties nearest the coast. Those counties include Bryan, Camden, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long, and McIntosh. The Hurricane Registry is managed by the local county health department in each of these counties.

“The Hurricane Registry is an important safety net for people with healthcare issues and no way to leave,” said Dr. Lawton Davis, Health Director of the Coastal Health District. “If we know about your individual situation in advance, we can work with emergency managers to develop an evacuation plan for you.”

The registry is not intended for residents with transportation who can evacuate themselves, or residents with friends or family members who can take them to safety. Likewise, nursing home and assisted living residents should not apply, but should follow their facility’s evacuation plan.

Residents must apply to be on the Registry and can do so by calling toll-free, 1-833-CHD-REGISTER (1-833-243-7344) and following the phone prompts which will connect them directly with their county health department.

The application can also be downloaded using one of the following links: 

For more information on the Hurricane Registry for those with functional, access, or medical needs, visit our Hurricane Registry page.

Georgia WIC Comment Survey

Let us know what you think about WIC! We want to make the program better but we need your help. Please go to wic.ga.gov to give us your feedback. The survey will be open through June 30.

Ladies Who PrEP Summit Scheduled for April 13

The Georgia Department of Public Health Office of HIV/AIDS, Sister Love, Inc., and the Coastal Health District will host the “Ladies Who PrEP Summit” in Savannah on April 13 at the Savannah Marriott Riverfront.

WHO: The Georgia Department of Public Health Office of HIV/AIDS, Sister Love, Inc., and the Coastal Health District

WHAT: Ladies Who PrEP Summit

WHEN: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Saturday, April 13

WHERE: Savannah Marriott Riverfront, 100 General McIntosh Blvd., Savannah

WHY: Attendees will be empowered to take control of their sexual health as they discuss women’s sexual health issues and learn about Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) as an HIV prevention option. The day will be a great blend of education and fun as attendees will enjoy food, celebrity guest panels, music, and interactive skill building activities from health experts.

This event is free and open to the public but registration is required:
https://ladieswhoprepsavannah.eventbrite.com

Click here for more information about PrEP.

County Health Departments Awarded Car Seat Mini-Grant; Buckle Up Right, Every Trip, Every Time


Health departments in Bryan, Chatham, Glynn, Liberty, Long, and McIntosh counties were awarded the 2019 Car Seat Mini Grant by the Georgia Department of Public Health, Injury Prevention Program. Health departments in those counties will use the Mini-Grant funding to educateparents and caregivers on how to properly install and use car seats, offercar seat inspections, and providecar seats and booster seats to financially eligible families.

The program is funded by the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety to help ensure Georgia’s children are safe while riding in motor vehicles. Since 2007, the education, car seats, and booster seats provided through the Mini-Grant prevented serious injury or death and saved over 300 of Georgia’s children who were involved in crashes. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, car seats reduce fatal injuries by 71 percent among infants and by 54 percent among children ages 1 to 4 years in passenger cars.

Car seats offer the best protection for children in the event of a crash, and they are most effective when installed and used correctly. Nearly three out of every four car seats are not used properly, placing children at unnecessary risk.

Through the Car Seat Mini-Grant, agencies supporting more than 130 counties are working to keep Georgia’s children safe. These programs help families get their children buckled up right, every trip, every time.

For more information on the car seat program in the six Coastal Health District counties that received funding, please contact the local health department directly.  Contact information for Coastal Health District health departments can be found at gachd.org/counties.

                                                                 

Free Screening of Acclaimed Film, “25 to Life,” in Savannah & Brunswick

The Coastal Health District Prevention Program, the Savannah and Brunswick Chapter of The Links, Incorporated, and Savannah State University Student Development will host a free screening of the acclaimed film, “25 to Life,” in Savannah and Brunswick on the following days and times:

7 p.m. (doors open at 6 p.m.), Wednesday, January 23, Savannah State University Union, Ballrooms A&B.

7 p.m. Thursday, January 24, Brunswick Job Corps Center, 4401 Glynco Parkway.

The events are free and open to the public. The film’s creative team along with William Brawner, whose story is told in the film, will attend the screening and participate in an interactive audience discussion following the screening. Brawner, national speaker and HIV/AIDS activist and Executive Director of the Haven Youth Center, will lead the discussion about ending HIV/AIDS stigma though education, awareness, and Pre-exposure prophylaxis *(PrEP). There will also be free giveaways and refreshments.

*PrEP is a medication taken daily for those identified as high risk for HIV infection.

The mission of the Coastal Health District Prevention Team is to educate communities about the threat of HIV/AIDS and its social impact; advocate for increased HIV/AIDS programs within the community that help improve treatment, provide support and prevention of HIV/AIDS; and eradicate HIV/AIDS stigmas and discrimination.  “25 to LIFE” will help bring awareness to the ongoing fight against HIV/AIDS and will address the tough issues of sex, race, and manhood as well as the effects of silence and secrecy surrounding HIV positive people. William will share his personal story of keeping his HIV positive status a secret for over 25 years and his tireless efforts to end HIV/AIDS stigmas.

 

 

Glynn Co. Health Dept. Blood Drive Jan. 8

The Glynn County Health Department will hold a blood drive from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, January 8. Donating blood takes less than an hour and each blood donation has the potential to save up to three lives. Everyone who donates will receive a FREE long-sleeved t-shirt and one-week YMCA guest pass. In addition, all donors will receive a wellness check including blood pressure, temperature, iron count, pulse, and cholesterol screening. If you want to save time and make an appointment in advance, please call 912-279-3351.

It’s Not Too Late to Get a Flu Shot

Although we’re heading into spring, the flu is still circulating widely in Georgia. Getting vaccinated is the best protection against the flu and it’s not too late to get a flu shot. Health departments in Bryan, Camden, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long, and McIntosh counties still have flu vaccine available.

“The flu is out there and as long as the flu virus is circulating, it’s never too late to vaccinate,” said Lawton Davis, M.D., district health director for the Coastal Health District. “Flu season can run as late as May.”

Influenza can be a serious disease that leads to hospitalization and sometimes death. Regardless of race, age, gender or ethnicity, anyone can get sick from the flu. Those especially at risk are adults 65 years of age and older, children younger than 5, pregnant women, people with certain chronic diseases such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease or other long-term medical conditions. The CDC recommends everyone 6 months and older receive a flu vaccine. While getting the flu vaccine is the best way to prevent the flu, there are other things we can all do every day to prevent getting or spreading the 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.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.