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

Liberty News


Changes to COVID-19 Testing Schedule

The Coastal Health District is adjusting the COVID-19 testing schedule in Bryan, Camden, Effingham, Liberty, Long, and McIntosh Counties as demand increases for other public health services, including flu vaccinations.

“We’ve seen a decline in COVID-19 testing numbers in our district, and the same is true statewide,” said Dr. Lawton Davis, Health Director of the Coastal Health District. “Even with a reduced schedule, we can meet the current demand. And if testing demand increases in the future, we’ll adjust accordingly.”

Beginning October 12, the following counties will offer this revised schedule for COVID-19 testing by appointment:

  • Bryan County: Tuesdays in Richmond Hill; Fridays in Pembroke from 8 a.m. – 12 noon
  • Camden County: Tuesdays 8 a.m. – 12 noon
  • Effingham County: Fridays 8 a.m. – 12 noon
  • Liberty County: Wednesdays 8 a.m. – 12 noon
  • Long County: Tuesdays 8 a.m. – 12 noon
  • McIntosh County: Tuesdays 8 a.m. – 12 noon

You have two options for scheduling an appointment for free COVID-19 testing through public health. To schedule an appointment online, go to covid19.dph.ga.gov, or to schedule by phone call our COVID-19 Testing Call Center at 912-230-9744. The call center is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., and Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. – 12 noon.

Click here for more details about testing locations, and for a list of free COVID-19 testing options in other counties of the Coastal Health District.

Drive-through Flu Vaccination Clinics Planned

It’s unknown what kind of impact COVID-19 will have on flu season and for that reason, getting vaccinated against the flu this year is more important than ever. To make it as convenient as possible for residents to get the flu vaccine, health departments in the Coastal Health Districts are planning drive-through flu vaccination clinics. No appointment is necessary for the drive-through clinics. Click the link below for a complete list of flu vaccine events.

Schedule of Drive-Through Flu Vaccination Clinics

Flu vaccinations are also available at your health department (by appointment) during regular operating hours.

The flu vaccine is recommended for everyone over six months of age. Vaccination is particularly important for those at high risk of complications from flu, including adults 65 and older, children younger than five, pregnant women, and people with chronic health conditions such as asthma and diabetes. It takes about two weeks after getting a flu shot for the vaccine to provide the body protection against the flu.

“It stands to reason that getting COVID-19 and the flu at or about the same time could be dangerous.  High levels of COVID-19 and flu could also take a tremendous toll on our healthcare system,” said Health Director for the Coastal Health District, Lawton Davis, M.D. “Getting the flu vaccine reduces your chances of getting the flu and that, in turn, helps protect all of us.”

Everyday preventive actions to prevent flu spread are also recommended, like staying home if you’re sick, sneezing and coughing into your elbow, washing hands frequently, and avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

To get more information on the flu or to download the vaccine consent form ahead of time, please visit gachd.org/flu.

Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day Testing Event September 25

In observance of National Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NGMHAAD), free, confidential HIV testing will be offered from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, September 25th at the First City Pride Center at 1515 Bull Street. A rapid HIV test will provide results in one minute. The event is sponsored by Project POWER (Protecting Ourselves With Every Resource), a Coastal Health District Initiative to stop the spread of HIV, sexually transmitted diseases, and to encourage a more open dialogue between partners.

Launched in 2008, NGMHAAD is observed every September to direct attention to the continuing and disproportionate impact of HIV/AIDS on gay and bisexual men in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 1 in 6 gay and bisexual men living with HIV are still unaware of their status, underscoring a need for HIV education, testing and prevention services among that population. Last year’s theme, “The conversation about HIV is changing,” continues through 2020, and is anchored in the new tools we have to combat HIV such as PrEP, a medication that prevents HIV when taken as prescribed.  

First City Pride Center is an inclusive advocacy, social and service organization actively working to meet the needs for safety, empowerment, education, and well-being of Savannah’s LGBTQIA+ community.

In compliance with the citywide order, all event attendees are required to wear a mask or face covering. Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms should not attend.

For more information about testing, please contact Gregory Battle at 912-644-5826 or email Gregory.Battle@dph.ga.gov. To coordinate media interviews, please call Sally Silbermann at 912-484-4116 or email Sally.Silbermann@dph.ga.gov.

COVID-19 Testing, Health Dept. Operational Schedule for Labor Day, Sept. 7

Health Department clinics, Environmental Health offices, and Coastal Health District offices will be closed on Monday, September 7th in observance of Labor Day.

The COVID-19 testing sites in Brunswick and Savannah will be operational on Labor Day with reduced hours.

Drive-through COVID-19 Testing in Brunswick is by appointment only, and will be available Monday, September 7 from 8-10:30 a.m. To make an appointment for testing, call 1-912-230-9744 and choose option #3, or click here to schedule an appointment online.

Drive-through COVID-19 Testing in Savannah is available without an appointment at the Civic Center at 301 West Oglethorpe Ave. The site will be operational Saturday, September 5 from 8:30-11:30 a.m., and Monday, September 7 from 8-10:30 a.m.

The Coastal Health District’s COVID-19 Testing Call Center will be operational with normal hours, Saturday from 8:30 a.m. – 12 p.m., closed Sundays, and open Monday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. The call center number is 1-912-230-9744.

Click here for more information about COVID-19 testing in the Coastal Health District.

Chlorine Dioxide Should NOT be used to Treat COVID-19

The Department of Public Health has received reports that people are using diluted chlorine dioxide to “treat” COVID-19.  Chlorine dioxide is a bleach-like cleaning agent and, if ingested, can have severe, adverse health effects, including death.

Chlorine dioxide products have not been shown to be safe and effective for any use, including treatment of COVID-19.

Products are being marketed online under various names: MSS, Miracle Mineral Solution, Master Mineral Solution, Water Purification Solution, CDS, Aqueous Chlorine Dioxide, and others.

Ingesting chlorine dioxide products are not meant to be swallowed by people, and can lead to:

  • Respiratory failure
  • Potentially fatal abnormal heart rhythms
  • Life-threatening low blood pressure caused by dehydration
  • Acute liver failure
  • Low blood cell counts
  • Severe vomiting
  • Severe diarrhea

The Georgia Poison Center advises that chlorine dioxide not be swallowed, and not be used outside of industrial settings where appropriate precautions against injury from this chemical can be used.

For more information or if you or someone you know has ingested chlorine dioxide, call the Georgia Poison Center Hotline: 1-800-222-1222

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Warning:

The FDA reminds consumers to be cautious of websites and stores selling products that claim to prevent, mitigate, treat, diagnose or cure COVID-19. Fraudulent COVID-19 products may come in many varieties, including dietary supplements and other foods, as well as products purporting to be drugs, medical devices or vaccines. Products that claim to cure, mitigate, treat, diagnose or prevent disease, but are not proven safe and effective for those purposes, defraud consumers of money and can place consumers at risk for serious harm. Using these products may lead to delays in getting proper diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19 and other potentially serious diseases and conditions.

Drive-Through HIV Testing Events Scheduled

To raise awareness about the importance of HIV Testing and knowing your HIV status, the Coastal Health District will hold free drive-thru HIV testing events from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Saturday, August 15th, in the parking lot of Diversity Health Center in Hinesville and on Saturday, August 22nd in the parking lot of Brunswick High School in Brunswick. Testing is free and confidential and no appointment is necessary.

Testing is the first step in maintaining a healthy life and reducing the spread of HIV. Results will be available in one minute. A follow-up visit will be scheduled for anyone who tests positive and counseling will be made available to those individuals.

Those getting tested will receive free giveaways, including gift cards. Staff will also be available to discuss HIV prevention options such as PrEP, the daily pill to prevent HIV.

Around 1.2 million people in the United States are living with HIV, and one in eight people do not know they have it.  This 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 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. Anyone with questions about testing can call Diane DeVore at (912) 644-5828 or e-mail Diane.Devore@dph.ga.gov.

Health Departments to Provide No Cost Vision, Hearing, Dental, & Nutrition Screening for School Students

Although the start of school may look a little different this year, 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.

Health departments in the Coastal Health District will offer no cost vision, hearing, dental, and nutrition screening – by appointment only – for school students. Normally a $30 fee applies when getting the screening at the health department.

Immunization services will also be available at regular cost. Most insurance is accepted and there are low-cost options for people without insurance. 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 starting at ages 11–12 to protect against cancers and other diseases caused by human papillomavirus.

Call your local health department to schedule an appointment.

No Cost Vision, Hearing, Dental, and Nutrition Clinic Schedules

Bryan County
August 17th (Pembroke) and August 19th (Richmond Hill)
Appointments can be scheduled by calling 912-653-4331 (Pembroke) or 912-756-2611 (Richmond Hill).

Chatham County
August 10th – 14th
Appointments can be scheduled by calling 912-356-2441.

Effingham County
Tuesday, August 18th, and Thursday, August 20th
Appointments can be scheduled by calling 912-754-6484.

Glynn County
August 10th – 14th
Appointments can be scheduled by calling 912-264-3961 and choosing option 9.

Liberty County
Monday, August 17th, and Tuesday, August 18th
Appointments can be scheduled by calling 912-876-2173.

Long County
Monday, August 10th, and Wednesday, August 12th
Appointments can be scheduled by calling 912-545-2107.

McIntosh County
Thursday, August 13th, and Monday, August 17th
Appointments can be scheduled by calling 912-832-5473.

Coastal Health District to Suspend Operations Monday, August 3rd

The Coastal Health District will suspend operations on Monday, August 3rd due to the potential for wind and rain associated with Tropical Storm Isaias.

All district offices, county health departments, and COVID-19 specimen collection sites will be closed. Anyone with an appointment scheduled for Monday will be notified of the closure and will have the opportunity to reschedule. The COVID-19 Testing Call Center will also be closed on Monday.

All sites and the call center are expected to reopen with normal hours on Tuesday, August 4th.

Don’t Delay: Make Appointments Now for Immunizations & School Screenings

Immunizations and health screenings are an important part of keeping our children healthy. Several vaccinations are required for school-aged children, and parents are urged not to delay those immunizations. Staying up to date on vaccinations is the best way to protect children from certain diseases.

Health departments currently require appointments for service. Scheduling patients in advance allows for social distancing in waiting rooms. Face coverings are also required for anyone over age 2.

It is important to note that health department services, including vaccinations, are offered on days when there is no COVID-19 testing taking place at health departments.

“We’re doing everything we can to provide a safe environment for our patients and staff,” said Coastal Health District Immunization Coordinator, Paige Lightsey, R.N. “If your child needs immunizations, we encourage you to call the health department or your pediatrician and schedule an appointment right away.”

Students entering school for the first time need vaccinations as well as Vision, Hearing, Dental, and Nutrition screenings. Also, 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 one dose of Tdap vaccine and one dose of meningococcal vaccine. 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. Appointments can be scheduled by calling your local health department. Most insurance plans are accepted, and vaccine can be supplied at no cost for those without insurance. For more information on childhood immunization schedules, go to gachd.org/immunizations.

Camden, Effingham, Liberty, Long, & McIntosh Counties Join Glynn Co. in Offering Online Scheduling for COVID-19 Tests

Online scheduling for COVID-19 testing is now available in 6 counties of the Coastal Health District. You can schedule an appointment using an online self-service portal for testing in Camden, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long, and McIntosh Counties.

Click here for information and a link to the self-service portal.

You still have the option to schedule an appointment by phone through the Coastal Health District’s COVID-19 Testing Call Center at 1-912-230-9744. The Call Center can also be used for scheduling appointments in Bryan County, for information about testing in Chatham County, or for test results.

For a list of all the free COVID-19 testing options through the Coastal Health District, visit our testing web page.