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

Glynn News


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.

Beach Advisories Lifted on St. Simons Island

Updated November 13, 2019:

The Glynn County Health Department has lifted the bacteria-related beach water advisories for St. Simons Island beaches.

Advisories have been lifted for:

  • East Beach at Old Coast Guard Station (Tenth St. to Driftwood Dr.)
  • Massengale Park Beach (Driftwood Dr. to Cedar St.)
  • Fifth Street Crossover Beach (Cedar St. to Ninth St.)
  • South Beach at the Lighthouse (Ninth St. to the Pier)

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


Updated November 6, 2019:

The Glynn County Health Department has lifted the bacteria-related beach water advisories for Jekyll Island at the South Dunes Picnic Area (Corsair Beach Park to South Water Tower) and Middle Beach at the Convention Center (Beach Pavilion to Corsair Beach Park).

The advisories were issued on November 5, 2019 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.

The following Glynn County beaches remain under advisory:

St. Simons Island

  • East Beach at Old Coast Guard Station (Tenth St. to Driftwood Dr.)
  • Massengale Park Beach (Driftwood Dr. to Cedar St.)
  • Fifth Street Crossover Beach (Cedar St. to Ninth St.)
  • South Beach at the Lighthouse (Ninth St. to the Pier)

Meanwhile, a previous beach water advisory for Jekyll Island’s North Beach at Dexter Lane (Tallu Fish Ln. to Brice Ln.) was lifted on Nov. 5 based on results from recent water tests.

graphic showing the beach water advisory signsThe Department of Natural Resources – Coastal Resources Division tests water samples on St. Simons and Jekyll Islands every week 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 are being re-tested this week, and the advisories will be lifted when the bacteria levels meet the EPA’s recommended standards.

For more information, including Frequently Asked Questions and Answers, visit our beach water testing page.

Bacteria-Related Beach Water Advisory Lifted for North Beach on Jekyll

Updated November 5, 2019:

The Glynn County Health Department has lifted the advisory for North Beach at Dexter Lane on Jekyll Island (Tallu Fish Lane to Brice Lane).

The advisory was issued on October 29, 2019 after routine water quality tests showed a high level of enterococci bacteria which increase the risk of gastrointestinal illness in swimmers.

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


October 29, 2019

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

This advisory is based on results from routine, weekly water sample tests for bacteria found in humans and some wildlife, and this testing program is not related to the capsized cargo carrier in St. Simons Sound. The Department of Natural Resources Coastal Resources Division tests water on St. Simons and Jekyll Islands every week of the year, screening for enterococcus (pronounced: en·ter·o·coc·cus) bacteria. When a beach is under advisory, it means that 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.

Periodic advisories are not unusual, particularly during warmer months when bacteria thrive. It is difficult to determine exactly where the bacteria come from, but some sources could include animal waste, storm water runoff, or boating waste.

This beach water advisory is to alert 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. No other beach areas are affected. 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 about beach water testing, click here.

Flu Vaccine Available at Health Departments

It may still feel like summer outside, but this year’s flu season has already begun. Getting vaccinated is the best protection against flu and the health departments in Bryan, Camden, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long, and McIntosh counties now have flu vaccine available. The flu vaccine is recommended for everyone over six months of age, including pregnant women.

“Flu seasons can vary in length and severity. The one thing that remains constant is the fact that influenza can be dangerous,” said Coastal Health District Health Director, Lawton Davis, M.D. “That’s why it is so important to get a flu shot every year.”

It takes about two weeks after getting a flu shot for the vaccine to provide the body with protection against the flu. 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.

For more information or to download the vaccine consent form ahead of time, go to www.gachd.org/flu.

The following drive-through flu vaccination clinics have been scheduled:

Glynn County
8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Thursday, October 24
Glynn County Health Department (2747 Fourth St.)
Cash, checks, credit/debit cards, most major insurances, Medicaid, and Medicare will be accepted.

Camden County
10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, November 2
Lowe’s in Kingsland (1410 East Boone Avenue)
Cash, checks, most major insurances, Medicaid, and Medicare will be accepted.

McIntosh County
1 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Thursday, November 7
McIntosh County Health Department (Hwy. 57 in Townsend)
Cash, checks, credit/debit cards, most major insurances, Medicaid, and Medicare will be accepted.

Bacteria-related Beach Water Advisory Lifted for Driftwood Beach on Jekyll Island

The Glynn County Health Department has lifted the advisory for Driftwood Beach, which is from Beach KM marker 1 to Tallu Fish Lane on Jekyll Island.

The advisory was issued on October 22, 2019 after routine water quality tests showed a high level of enterococci bacteria which increase the risk of gastrointestinal illness in swimmers.

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

The testing is part of an ongoing water monitoring program through the Department of Natural Resources Coastal Resources Division. Water samples are screened every week for bacteria found in humans and some wildlife. This testing program is not related to the capsized cargo carrier in St. Simons Sound.

For more information about beach water advisories, click here.

Bacteria-related Beach Water Advisory Lifted for Driftwood Beach on Jekyll Island

Updated October 2, 2019

The Glynn County Health Department has lifted the advisory for Driftwood Beach, which is from Beach KM marker 1 to Tallu Fish Lane on Jekyll Island.

The advisory was issued on October 1, 2019 after routine water quality tests showed a high level of enterococci bacteria which increase the risk of gastrointestinal illness in swimmers.

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

The testing is part of an ongoing water monitoring program through the Department of Natural Resources Coastal Resources Division. Water samples are screened every week for bacteria found in humans and some wildlife. This testing program is not related to the capsized cargo carrier in St. Simons Sound.

For more information about beach water advisories, go to our beach water advisory page.


October 1, 2019

The Glynn County Health Department has issued a swimming advisory for Driftwood Beach on Jekyll Island, which is from Beach KM marker 1 to Tallu Fish Lane on Jekyll Island. This advisory is based on results from routine, weekly water sample tests for bacteria found in humans and some wildlife, and this testing program is not related to the capsized cargo carrier in St. Simons Sound.

The Department of Natural Resources Coastal Resources Division tests water on St. Simons and Jekyll Islands every week of the year, screening for enterococcus (pronounced: en·ter·o·coc·cus) bacteria. When a beach is under advisory, it means that 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.

Periodic advisories are not unusual, particularly during warmer months when bacteria thrive. It is difficult to determine exactly where the bacteria come from, but some sources could include animal waste, storm water runoff, or boating waste.

This beach water advisory is to alert 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. No other beach areas are affected. 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 about beach water testing, click here.

Swimmers & Fishers Advised of Oil Impacts on Jekyll Island Coastline

Yellow graphic text swimming fishing use caution

The Coastal Health District is alerting swimmers and recreational fishers to the presence of oil on the beaches of Jekyll Island. According to the St. Simons Sound Incident Unified Command, responders are finding bits of weathered oil including tarballs smaller than the size of a quarter washing up onto the sand at Jekyll Island.

The public advisory status for swimming and fishing remains cautionary. Beaches are not closed but beachgoers should stay alert. Swim and fish with caution and avoid contact with oil on the beach. 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.

If you 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.

On September 30th, there was a discharge of pollutants from the capsized motor vehicle carrier Golden Ray. For additional information on the incident response, monitor the response website at www.ssiresponse.com.

The public advisory status for swimming and fishing may be lowered or elevated based on new information from responders and results of ongoing water quality tests. Monitor the Coastal Health District web page at gachd.org/ssiresponse/ for the latest advisory status, as this page will be updated as the situation changes.

Coastal Health District Advises Extra Caution when Swimming, Fishing at Area Beaches

Active release of pollutants from cargo carrier could impact shoreline

The Coastal Health District urges anyone swimming or fishing on Jekyll Island and St. Simons Island to be aware of an active release of pollutants from the cargo carrier Golden Ray. The public advisory status for area beaches has changed from “green” to “yellow” – swimming and fishing are still allowed, but beachgoers should remain especially alert until more is known about the impact of this current discharge.


According to the St. Simons Sound Incident Unified Command, a pollution discharge began Monday afternoon September 30th from the Golden Ray and could have shoreline impacts. For additional information on the incident response, monitor the response website at www.ssiresponse.com.

Before you swim, check the water for any sign of oil, such as a sheen on the water’s surface. If you see oil in the water, do not swim. Contact the U.S. Coast Guard National Response Center at 1-800-424-8802 to report visible oil on the beach.

If no oil is visible, swim with caution, but remain alert for changing conditions. The same advice applies to recreational fishing: fish with caution, but don’t fish in areas with visible oil on the water.

The public advisory status may be lowered or elevated based on information from responders and results of ongoing water quality tests. Monitor the Coastal Health District web page at gachd.org/ssiresponse/ for the latest advisory status, as this webpage will be updated as the situation changes.

DPH Identifies First Death From Vaping-Associated Illness

September 25, 2019

Atlanta -The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) has identified the state’s first death from a vaping-associated illness. The patient had a history of heavy nicotine vaping, but no reported history of vaping THC. DPH has identified nine cases, including the death, of vaping-associated illness in Georgia, and other possible cases are being reviewed. All patients were hospitalized and developed pneumonia with no known infectious cause. Cases range in age from 18 to 68 years (median age 26 years), 78% are male.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is working with states to investigate more than 500 cases of vaping-associated illness. No specific e-cigarette device or substance has been linked to all cases. Most patients have reported a history of using vaping products containing THC. Many patients have reported using THC and nicotine. Some have reported the use of e-cigarette products containing only nicotine.

Governor Brian P. Kemp and DPH Commissioner Kathleen E. Toomey, M.D., M.P.H. urge individuals to follow the CDC recommendation that individuals not use e-cigarettes or other vaping devices while this investigation is ongoing. Without knowing the specific cause of the vaping-associated illness, discontinuing use of e-cigarettes and vaping devices is the best prevention against becoming ill.

E-cigarettes and other vaping devices are not safe for youth, young adults, pregnant women or adults who do not currently use tobacco products. People who use e-cigarette products should not buy vaping products off the street and should not modify or add any substances to e-cigarette products.

Symptoms of vaping-associated illness, which worsen over time, include cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, chest pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. People with a history of vaping who are experiencing breathing problems or any of these symptoms should seek medical care.

For more information about e-cigarettes and vaping, visit https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/basic_information/e-cigarettes/severe-lung-disease.html#latest-outbreak-information.

Beach Advisory Lifted for East Beach on St. Simons Island

Updated September 25, 2019

The Glynn County Health Department has lifted the advisory for East Beach at the Old Coast Guard Station, which is from 10th Street to Driftwood Drive on St. Simons Island.

The advisory was issued on September 24, 2019 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.


September 24, 2019

The Glynn County Health Department has issued a swimming advisory for East Beach at the Old Coast Guard Station, which is from 10th Street to Driftwood Drive on St. Simons Island.

This advisory is based on results from routine, weekly water sample tests for bacteria found in humans and some wildlife, and this testing program is not related to the capsized cargo carrier in St. Simons Sound.

The Department of Natural Resources Coastal Resources Division tests water on St. Simons and Jekyll Islands every week of the year, screening for enterococcus (pronounced: en·ter·o·coc·cus) bacteria. 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.

graphic showing the beach water advisory signs

Periodic advisories are not unusual, particularly during warmer months when bacteria thrive. It is difficult to determine exactly where the bacteria come from, but some sources could include animal waste, storm water runoff, or boating waste.

This beach water advisory is to alert 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. No other beach areas are affected. 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.