Now vaccinating age 12+ in Chatham/Glynn. Info on COVID-19 Vaccine, Testing, Data:
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The Coastal Health District of Georgia serves the counties of Bryan, Camden, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long & McIntosh

Glynn News


Vaccination More Urgent Than Ever; COVID-19 Cases Increase and Delta Variant Spreads in Georgia

If you were waiting for the right time to get vaccinated, that time is now! The
Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is urging Georgians to get vaccinated as the
number of new COVID-19 cases increases daily and the Delta variant spreads.

The COVID case rate in Georgia has increased 204% over the last 14-day period. Yesterday
new cases totaled 4,612 – the highest daily number since mid-February. Hospitalizations have
increased by about 50% in the last 14 days, and deaths have increased by about 18% in the
same period. Vaccination has stalled statewide and only 40% of Georgians are fully vaccinated.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates the Delta variant accounts for
78% of new COVID cases in Georgia, making vaccination more urgent than ever. The Delta
variant spreads more than twice as easily from one person to another, compared with earlier
strains. The highest spread of cases and severe outcomes are happening in places with low
vaccination rates, and virtually all hospitalizations and deaths continue to be among the
unvaccinated.

“Unfortunately, we can expect COVID numbers to keep growing. People who are unvaccinated
or skip their second dose of vaccine are targets for infection,” said Kathleen E. Toomey, M.D.,
M.P.H., commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Health. “Getting vaccinated is the
best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and the Delta variant. High vaccination coverage
will reduce spread of the virus in your community and elsewhere – and help prevent new
variants from emerging.”

All Georgians aged 12 and older are urged to get vaccinated against COVID-19. If you receive
either Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, you must get your second dose to ensure you are fully
protected. Individuals are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their final dose of
vaccine.

COVID vaccines authorized for use in the U.S. are safe and effective against COVID-19 and the
variants that are circulating. Vaccination is the best defense at preventing severe illness,
hospitalizations and death. The delta variant is causing some “vaccine breakthrough infections,”
meaning infections in fully vaccinated people, but even so, most breakthrough infections are
mild. In areas with substantial and high transmission, the CDC recommends that everyone (including fully vaccinated individuals) wear a mask in public indoor settings to help prevent spread of COVID-19 and the Delta variant.

COVID vaccines are free and widely available statewide without insurance or identification. To find a vaccination location or to schedule an appointment, visit https://dph.georgia.gov/covid-vaccine.

Beach Water Advisories Lifted in Chatham, Glynn Counties

Updated July 22, 2021

The Chatham and Glynn County Health Departments have lifted the beach water advisories on Tybee, St. Simons, and Jekyll Island.

The advisories were issued on July 20, 2021 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 advisories have been lifted.


July 20, 2012

The Chatham County Health Department and Glynn County Health Department have issued beach water advisories for locations on Tybee, St. Simons, and Jekyll Islands.

Tybee Island

  • Polk Street Beach – from the north end of the island to the jetty
  • Tybee Strand Beach at the Pier – Eleventh St. to Eighteenth St.

St. Simons Island

  • North Beach at Goulds Inlet – Fifteenth St. to Tenth St.
  • East Beach Old Coast Guard Station – Tenth St. to Driftwood Dr.
  • Fifth Street Crossover Beach – Cedar St. to Ninth St.

Jekyll Island

  • North Beach at Dexter Lane – Tallu Fish Ln. to Brice Ln.
  • Capt. Wylly Rd Crossover Beach – Brice Ln. to Beach Pavilion
graphic showing the beach water advisory signs

The Department of Natural Resources – Coastal Resources Division tests water samples on Georgia beaches 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.

The beach water advisory alerts 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. 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.

Public Urged to Get Vaccinated as COVID-19 Rates Rise in Camden County

COVID-19 transmission and hospitalization rates have risen sharply in Camden County, and vaccination rates remain low. The Camden County Health Department and Southeast Georgia Health System are urging unvaccinated residents to take precautions against COVID-19 and get vaccinated as soon as possible.

“We are very concerned about the increase in the number of positive COVID-19 cases and the number of hospitalized patients,” said Michael D. Scherneck, president and CEO of the Southeast Georgia Health System. “We had hoped when the vaccine became available to everyone over age 12 we’d see a dramatic reduction in the number of positive cases. Our numbers did decline for a few weeks, but now our COVID-19 volumes have risen again.”

In the last three weeks, the COVID-19 transmission rate and test positivity rate in Camden County have tripled. “People are gathering and traveling more, there are fewer restrictions in place, and the more contagious delta variant is circulating,” said Angela Hartley, Clinical Director for the Coastal Health District. “When you combine these factors and our low vaccination rate, it’s not surprising to see this jump in cases. We really need more people to get vaccinated.”

Only 28% of eligible residents in Camden County are fully vaccinated, and only 39% in Glynn County. “For those of the ‘wait and see’ mindset, we urge you to get the vaccine now,” said Scherneck. “Even if you believe you’re healthy enough to withstand the illness, get the vaccine to protect your loved ones and your community.”

Free COVID-19 vaccine is also available at the Glynn and Camden County Health Departments. Camden County offers the Moderna vaccine for ages 18+ each Thursday, and the Glynn County Health Department offers Pfizer vaccine for ages 12+ every weekday. There is no cost for vaccination through CORE or the Health Department. Appointments are encouraged, but not required, and can be made by clicking the appointment link at chdcovidvax.org or by calling 912-230-5506.

Pfizer vaccines are available on the Southeast Georgia Health System Camden Campus each Monday from 8 am-1 pm, and on the Brunswick Campus each Tuesday from 8 am-1 pm. Appointments can be scheduled online at sghs.org/covid19-vaccine.

If individuals need no-cost transportation to any of these vaccine locations, a ride can be scheduled by calling 866-543-6744.

Public Advised of Possible Oil Impacts on Jekyll & St. Simons Islands

Swimmers and fishers should remain alert for possible oil impacts in the water and shoreline around Jekyll and St. Simons Islands.

Yellow graphic text swimming fishing use caution

Oil was released into the water Thursday during cutting and removal of a section of the Golden Ray, a capsized ship in the St. Simons Sound. According to the St. Simons Sound Incident Unified Command, response teams are watching the shoreline 24-hours a day so they can quickly remove any oily substances that reach the shore.

If you are swimming and 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.

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.

Additionally, shoreline survey teams continue to recover small pieces of debris related to the Golden Ray wreck removal. If you encounter what you believe is debris from the Golden Ray wreck, please do not handle the debris. Call the Debris Reporting Hotline at (912) 944-5620.

For additional information about today’s operations, visit the response website at https://www.stsimonssoundincidentresponse.com/post/section-three-cut-complete.

For more information about the public health impacts, visit our response web page.

Apply Now for the Coastal Health District Hurricane Registry

Every coastal resident should plan ahead for a possible hurricane evacuation, but this planning is critical for individuals with physical or medical challenges. If you or a loved one has medical issues and no way to evacuate before a storm, now is the time to apply for the Coastal Health District’s Hurricane Registry.

The Hurricane Registry is a list of adults or children who live at home under the care of family or trained medical professionals, but who would require special assistance in a shelter or healthcare facility during an evacuation. Additionally, individuals on the registry must have no other way to evacuate safely.

“The Hurricane Registry is truly a safety net,” said Dr. Lawton Davis, Health Director of the Coastal Health District. “If our area is ordered to evacuate, we don’t want these individuals trapped at home because they didn’t have the resources to leave and a medically appropriate place to go. But we can’t prepare if we don’t know their situation, which is why they need to apply in advance.”

The Hurricane Registry is managed by the local health department in each of the 8 counties of the Coastal Health District, including Bryan, Camden, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long, and McIntosh. You must apply to be on the registry in advance. You can begin the process by calling the Hurricane Registry hotline toll-free at 1-833-CHD-REGISTER (1-833-243-7344) or downloading an application at gachd.org/registry.

All coastal residents are also urged to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as possible. These vaccines would be especially important for protecting you and those around you in a shelter environment. Some vaccines require two doses several weeks apart, and it takes time for the body to build immunity after vaccination, so don’t delay.

For more information about the hurricane registry, visit gachd.org/registry.

Beach Water Advisory Lifted on Jekyll Island

Updated June 24, 2021

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

The advisory was issued on June 22, 2021 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.


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

graphic showing the beach water advisory signs

The Department of Natural Resources – Coastal Resources Division tests water samples on Glynn County beaches 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.

The beach water advisory alerts 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. 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.

Beach Water Advisory Lifted on St. Simons Island

Updated June 16, 2021

The Glynn County Health Department has lifted the advisory for South Beach at the Lighthouse on St. Simons Island.

The advisory was issued on June 15, 2021 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.


June 15, 2021

The Glynn County Health Department has issued a beach water advisory for South Beach at the Lighthouse, which extends from 9th Street to the Pier on St. Simons Island.

graphic showing the beach water advisory signs

The advisory is only for the area specified above and does not impact 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, 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 Georgia’s islands throughout the year. 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 area will be re-tested this week, and the advisory 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.

National HIV Testing Day Events Scheduled

The Coastal Health District HIV Prevention Program will hold several free HIV testing events (no appointment necessary) around the Coastal Health District throughout the month of June to bring awareness to National HIV Testing Day (NHTD) and the importance of knowing your status.

Scheduled Events

  • 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Monday, June 21
    Richmond Hill Public Library, 9607 Ford Ave., Richmond Hill

  • 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Tuesday, June 22
    Coastal Community Health Services, 106 Shoppers Way, Brunswick

  • 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Wednesday, June 23
    Diversity Health Center, 303 Fraser Dr., Hinesville

  • 7 – 11 p.m., Thursday, June 24
    Star Castle, 550 Mall Blvd., Savannah

  • 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Saturday, June 26
    Chatham County Health Department, 1395 Eisenhower Dr., Savannah*
    *(Drive-through event)

All testing is free and confidential and results will be available in about one minute. A follow-up visit will be scheduled for anyone who tests positive and counseling will be made available to those individuals.

This year’s theme, “My Test, My Way,” highlights different ways and places to get tested, including at home with a self-test. Swag bags, gift cards, and other giveaways will be available at all events.

Around 1.2 million people in the United States are living with HIV, and one in seven people do not know they have it and need to be tested. 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.

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 always 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.

For more information on Coastal Health District HIV services, please visit our website at gachd.org/hiv.

Swimming Advisory Lifted on Jekyll Island

Updated May 13, 2021

The Glynn County Health Department has lifted the advisory for Captain Wylly Road Crossover Beach, which is from Brice Lane to the beach pavilion on Jekyll Island.

The advisory was issued on May 11, 2021 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.


May 11, 2021

The Glynn County Health Department has issued a beach water advisory for Captain Wylly Road Crossover Beach, which is from Brice Lane to the beach pavilion on Jekyll Island.

graphic showing the beach water advisory signs

The Department of Natural Resources – Coastal Resources Division tests water samples on Glynn County beaches 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.

The beach water advisory alerts 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. 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.

Grant Funding to Help with Vaccination Transportation in Camden, Glynn, & McIntosh Counties

The Brunswick (GA) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated, announced today that $4,500 in grant funding will be used to provide transportation for residents in Camden, Glynn, and McIntosh counties to get to COVID-19 vaccination appointments.

President of the Brunswick, GA, chapter of The Links, Incorporated, Jackie Bryant, presented a check to the Coastal Regional Commission, which includes Coastal Regional Coaches, a branch of the Commission that provides transit service.

“The Brunswick (GA) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated is excited for the Coastal Regional Commission community partnership,” said Bryant. It is our vision that providing transportation at no cost to the citizens of Camden, Glynn, and McIntosh counties will assist in reducing yet another barrier in receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.”

Beginning Monday, May 17th, residents in Camden, Glynn, or McIntosh counties who have made an appointment to get the COVID-19 vaccine but do not have access to transportation can call (toll-free) 1-866-543-6744 to request a free ride to and from the appointment.

Funds for this initiative were provided by the Southern Area of The Links, Incorporated, Mask to Protect, Unmask to Inform Response to the Pandemic Grant.

The Brunswick (GA) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated, is one of 292 chapters of The Links, Incorporated, in 41 states. Made up of professional women of African descent, The Links, Incorporated, is one of the nation’s oldest and largest volunteer service organizations.

For more information to arrange transportation call (toll-free) 1-866-543-6744.