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

Liberty News

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.

World Breastfeeding Week Event Scheduled for August 3

The Coastal Health District Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) nutrition program will host a World Breastfeeding Week celebration from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, August 3, at the Forsyth Park Farmers Market in Savannah. The event is free and family-friendly and will include a walk for breastfeeding awareness, photo booth, the 10th annual Big Latch On, and information on the benefits of breastfeeding.

Free t-shirts (while supplies last) will be given to all participants. To receive a free t-shirt, you must register.

World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated during the first week in August every year in more than 170 countries to encourage breastfeeding and improve the health of babies around the world.  This year’s theme is “Empower Parents, Enable Breastfeeding.” According to the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) , the theme was chosen to be inclusive of all types of parents in today’s world. Focusing on supporting both parents to be empowered is vital in order to realize their breastfeeding goals.

The Coastal Health District is committed to helping mothers breastfeed their babies because breastfeeding is so important for good health. Breast milk is easy to digest, with just the right amount of fat, sugar, water, and protein for a baby’s growth and development. Breastfed babies usually get sick less often, because breast milk contains antibodies that can protect infants from bacterial and viral infections.

For more information on lactation services offered through the Coastal Health District, visit


Back-to-School Clinics Scheduled for Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long, and McIntosh Counties

The health departments in Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long, and McIntosh Counties are helping parents beat the back-to-school rush, offering clinics focused on immunizations and other screenings students may need before the start of school.

Chatham County

July 11, 8:30a – 4:30p

The Chatham County Health Department will provide vision, hearing, dental, and nutrition screenings at no cost from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 11, at the clinic at 1395 Eisenhower Drive in Savannah. Students will be seen on a first come, first served basis. Immunization services will also be available at regular cost.

Effingham County

July 11, 8a – 11a and 1p – 6:15p

The Effingham County Health Department will provide vision, hearing, dental, and nutrition screenings at no cost from 8 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. and 1 p.m. – 6:15 p.m on Thursday, July 11, at the clinic at 802 Highway 119 South in Springfield. Students will be seen on a first come, first served basis. Immunization services will also be available at regular cost.

Glynn County

July 24, 8a – 4:30p

The Glynn County Health Department will provide vision, hearing, dental, and nutrition screenings at no cost from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 24, at the clinic at 2747 Fourth Street in Brunswick. Students will be seen on a first come, first served basis. Immunization services will also be available at regular cost.

Liberty County

July 18, July 25 & August 1, 8:30a – 6p

The Liberty County Health Department will provide 3 back-to-school clinics for students who need immunizations and vision, hearing, dental, and nutrition screenings. The clinics will be held from 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Thursday, July 18, Thursday, July 25, and Thursday, August 1 at the clinic at 1113 E. Oglethorpe Hwy. in Hinesville. Students will be seen on a first come, first served basis and no appointment is necessary.

Long County

July 25 & July 30, 8a-5p (closed for lunch 12-1)

The Long County Health Department will provide 2 back-to-school clinics for students who need immunizations and vision, hearing, dental, and nutrition screenings. The clinics will be held from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Thursday, July 25 and Tuesday, July 30, but will be closed each day from 12-1 p.m. for lunch. The event will be held in the clinic at 584 N. Macon Street in Ludowici. Appointments are welcome but not necessary.

McIntosh County

July 18, 8a – 6p

The McIntosh County Health Department will provide immunizations and vision, hearing, dental, and nutrition screenings on Thursday, July 18 from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. at the clinic at 1335 GA Hwy. 57 in Townsend. The screenings will be offered at no out-of-pocket cost (normally a $30 fee applies when getting the screening at the health department). No appointment necessary.

Information for Parents

Students entering a Georgia school for the first time – no matter what the grade level – must have a completed Certificate of Vision, Hearing, Dental, and Nutrition screening form. “First time” means never enrolled in a Georgia school before at any time in their lives.

In addition, children born on or after January 1, 2002 who are attending seventh grade and new entrants into Georgia schools in grades 8 through 12 must have received one dose of Tdap vaccine and one dose of meningococcal vaccine. (“New entrant” means any child entering any school in Georgia for the first time or entering after having been absent from a Georgia school for more than 12 months or one school year).

The HPV vaccine is also recommended for both girls and boys ages 11–12 to protect against cancers and other diseases caused by human papillomavirus.

HIV Director Susan Alt Receives Lifetime Achievement and Medical Provider of the Year Awards

Susan Alt, Coastal Health District HIV Director, was recently honored for 35 years of compassion and care for persons living with HIV and AIDS in coastal Georgia. Alt received the Lifetime Achievement Award and the Medical Provider of the Year Award from the Georgia Department of Public Health’s Office of HIV/AIDS.

Coastal Health District HIV Director Susan Alt

“Susan’s approach to all individuals impacted by HIV is marked by empathy, compassion and the highest quality standards possible,” said Georgia’s HIV Prevention Manager Brooke Mootry as she presented the Lifetime Achievement Award. “Her commitment to her work and to the community has been unwavering from day one.”

Alt joined the Chatham County Health Department’s HIV Program in the early days of the HIV epidemic. Since then, the program has grown from just 40 patients to more than 1,470 active patients in 8 counties, with Alt at the helm. The Coastal Health District was the first public health district in the state of Georgia to conduct HIV clinical trials and continues to pursue new and better ways to treat and prevent HIV.

But for Alt, it’s not about the disease – it’s about the people. “Susan is deeply devoted to making sure those living with HIV are treated not only medically but also with respect and compassion,” said Georgia’s HIV Care Manager Marisol Cruz as she presented the Medical Provider of the Year Award. This award is for medical providers (including nurses, physicians and pharmacists) who provide exceptional HIV/AIDS healthcare.

The Coastal Health District’s HIV Program provides comprehensive outpatient HIV care and case management to persons with HIV/AIDS. Every county health department provides free, walk-in HIV testing, and the Coastal Health District has 3 HIV Program centers for expanded services in Savannah, Brunswick and Hinesville. Get more information on our HIV Program page.

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

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 and complete the WIC Eligibility Assessment.

WIC is an equal opportunity provider.

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 to give us your feedback. The survey will be open through June 30.

Potential Hepatitis A Exposure from Restaurant Worker

A case of hepatitis A has been diagnosed in a food handler at the Zaxby’s located at 5971 Ogeechee Road. A public health investigation found that this employee worked while infectious, March 29 through April 3.

It is relatively rare for restaurant patrons to become infected with hepatitis A virus due to an infected food handler. However, anyone who consumed food and/or drink at the restaurant between March 29 and April 3 should watch for the symptoms of hepatitis A infection.

Hepatitis A is a viral infection of the liver, and symptoms may include:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Tiredness
  • Fever
  • Stomach pain
  • Brown-colored urine and light-colored stools
  • Yellowing of the skin of eyes

Symptoms can appear up to 50 days after exposure to the virus. If anyone develops these symptoms, they should stay at home and contact their healthcare provider immediately.

There is also a safe and effective vaccine for hepatitis A that is available through some healthcare providers and all health departments. Even if the vaccine is given after the person was exposed, it can provide protection against developing hepatitis A.

Careful hand washing, including under the fingernails, with soap and water, is always an important tool to prevent the spread of this and many other diseases. Hepatitis A usually spreads when a person unknowingly ingests the virus from objects, food, or drinks contaminated by small, undetected amounts of stool from an infected person. The virus spreads when an infected person does not wash his/her hands adequately after using the toilet or engages in behaviors that increase risk of infection.

The following flyer has more information about hepatitis A.

Hepatitis A Information

Additional information can be found at

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:

Click here for more information about PrEP.

Raccoon in Midway Tests Positive for Rabies

A raccoon in the Billy Harris Point area of Midway has tested positive for rabies. A family dog that came into contact with the raccoon was not up to date on his rabies vaccination but has since received the vaccine.  The dog will remain under quarantine 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 Liberty County 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 Liberty County Animal Control at 912-876-9191 and the Liberty County Environmental Health office at 912-368-5520.