Free COVID-19 Vaccine Available for Age 12+; Pfizer Booster Shots Available. 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

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Flu Vaccine Available Starting October 4; Drive-Through Vaccination Clinics Scheduled in Some Counties

Health departments in Bryan, Camden, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long, and McIntosh counties will begin offering flu vaccine on Monday, October 4th.

Some counties will also hold drive-through vaccination clinics:

McIntosh County
Friday, October 15
8:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
McIntosh County Health Department, Hwy. 57, Townsend

Camden County
Saturday, November 6
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Camden County Resiliency Operations Center (formerly Georgia Power), 135 Gross Road, Kingsland

Long County
Monday, November 8
8 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Long County Health Department, 584 N. Macon Street, Ludowici.

The Liberty County Health Department will hold a special flu vaccination clinic on Tuesday, October 26th, at the health department located at 1113 E. Oglethorpe Highway in Hinesville. Appointments are required and can be made by calling 912-876-2173.

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.

Flu vaccines and COVID-19 vaccines can be given at the same time. Preventive measures like washing your hands and wearing a mask can also help prevent the spread of influenza and COVID-19.

“Flu season is always unpredictable, but maybe even more so this year,” said District Health Director, Dr. Lawton Davis. “We had little to no flu season at all in 2020, likely because of all the precautions we were taking to prevent COVID. That means we don’t really know what an active flu season combined with widely circulating COVID-19 will look like, but it has the potential to be very, very serious. Please get vaccinated against COVID and flu.”

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

For more information on seasonal flu and COVID-19, including similarities and differences, please visit the CDC’s website.

Pfizer Booster Shots Available in the Coastal Health District

Beginning Monday, Sept. 27, the Coastal Health District will offer Pfizer booster shots as recommended by the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control, and the Georgia Department of Public Health. Booster doses have been approved for the following individuals who received Pfizer vaccine more than six months ago:

  • Individuals aged 65 and older,
  • Residents in long-term care settings,
  • Individuals aged 18 and older with certain underlying medical conditions, and
  • Individuals aged 18 and older who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure because of where they work or live.

Booster shots have not yet been approved for anyone who received Moderna or Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccines. Please note: not every health department has Pfizer vaccine available. The following locations do offer Pfizer vaccine by appointment, and can give booster doses to eligible individuals. Dates and hours vary at each location.

  • Chatham Co. Health Dept. Annex (former EmployAbility building) – 1249 Eisenhower Dr.
  • West Chatham Site @ Gulfstream – 171 Crossroads Parkway, Savannah
  • Savannah Fire Station #3 – 121 East Oglethorpe Ave., Savannah
  • Glynn Co. Health Department – 2747 Fourth St., Brunswick
  • Effingham Co. Health Department – 802 Hwy. 119 South, Springfield
  • Liberty Co. Health Dept. – 1113 East Oglethorpe Hwy., Hinesville

Please visit chdcovidvax.org for more details and to schedule an appointment. For assistance, you may also call our COVID-19 Vaccination Phone Bank at 912-230-5506 Monday – Thursday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., and Friday from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.

The Coastal Health District continues to stress the importance of vaccination for all Georgians aged 12 and older. Vaccination is our best tool to protect lives and stop the spread of COVID-19 in our state.

Breast Cancer Screenings Offered in October

Health departments throughout the Coastal Health District will hold breast cancer screening events throughout the month of October which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in woman after skin cancer. It is estimated that about one in eight women in the United States will develop breast cancer over the course of her lifetime.

“Early detection is critical,” said Coastal Health District Women’s Health and Adult Health Coordinator, Mary Ellen Smith, MSN, WHNP BC. “The earlier breast cancer is detected, the easier it is to treat.”

Women who meet certain annual income guidelines and are 40-64 years of age without insurance will be eligible to receive mammograms or breast exams and mammogram referrals at no cost as part of the Breast and Cervical Cancer Program (BCCP). BCCP provides access to breast and cervical cancer screening for women who may not otherwise have the means to access such services.

In counties where mammograms are being offered, women who have an order from their healthcare provider or have insurance can still get a mammogram, but it will not be covered through the BCCP program.

Door prizes will be given to everyone receiving screening services at all county breast cancer awareness events, while supplies last.

For more information on BCCP, please visit our website at gachd.org/bccp.

Coastal Health District Breast Cancer Awareness Events

Bryan County
Date: Tuesday, October 19
Time: 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Location: Bryan County Health Department, 430 Ledford Street, Pembroke
Service offered: Clinical breast exams and mammogram referrals
Call 912-653-4331 to schedule an appointment.

Camden County
Date: Thursday, October 28
Time: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Location: Camden County Health Department, 905 Dilworth Street, St. Marys
Service offered: Clinical breast exams and mammogram referrals
Call 912-912-882-8515 or 912-576-3040 to schedule an appointment.

Effingham County
Date: Wednesday, October 6
Time: 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Location: Effingham County Health Department, 802 GA Hwy. 119 South, Springfield
Service offered: Clinical breast exams and mammogram referrals
Call 912-754-6484 to schedule an appointment.

Glynn County
Date: Tuesday, October 5
Time: 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Location: Glynn County Health Department, 2747 Fourth Street, Brunswick
Service offered: Mammograms
Call 912-264-3961 to schedule an appointment.

Liberty County
Date: Wednesday, October 13
Time: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Location: Liberty County Health Department, 1113 E. Oglethorpe Hwy., Hinesville
Service offered: Mammograms
Appointments encouraged; walk-ins accepted. Call 912-876-2171 to schedule an appointment.

Long County
Date: Tuesday, October 19
Time: 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Location: Long County Health Department, 57 North Macon Street, Ludowici
Service offered: Mammograms
Call 912-545-2107 to schedule an appointment.

McIntosh County
Date: Monday, October 25
Time: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Location: The Coastal Market, 5214 US 17, Darien
Service offered: Mammograms
NO APPOINTMENT NECESSARY
*God’s Ocean food truck will be on site and offer a 20% discount to those receiving mammograms that day.

$100 Incentive Offered for COVID-19 Vaccination in Long County

The Coastal Health District and Long County Health Department will give Visa gift cards to the first 100 people who get vaccinated against COVID-19 on Thursday, September 30th at the health department. Vaccinations will be available from 8:30 – 11:30 a.m. and 1 – 5 p.m.

The Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) and Moderna vaccines will be available and are approved for people 18 and older. Appointments are required and can be scheduled at chdcovidvax.org by CHOOSING THE LONG COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT scheduling link for Moderna or Johnson and Johnson. Appointments can also be scheduled by calling 912-230-5506 Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Only 18% of Long County residents are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. “COVID is killing a lot of folks,” said Long County Sheriff, Craig Nobles. “There’s a lot of misinformation out there about the vaccine, but the truth is that it will help save people in my community and surrounding communities. We’re all in this together.”

Janssen is a one dose vaccine and Moderna requires two doses, four weeks apart. Anyone receiving a Janssen vaccine at the event will be given Visa gift cards valued at $100.  Anyone receiving the first dose of Moderna vaccine will receive a $50 gift card that day, and then another $50 gift card when they return for their second dose in four weeks.

Anyone with one previous Moderna vaccination who gets the second dose at the event will be eligible for a $50 Visa gift card; please bring your CDC vaccination card documenting your first dose. The giveaway is not retroactive and only applies to first and second doses.

PLEASE NOTE: THIS DOES NOT APPLY TO ANY OTHER COASTAL HEALTH DISTRICT COUNTY BESIDES LONG.

New Distribution Process for Monoclonal Antibody Treatment

ATLANTA – The federal government has changed the way COVID-19 monoclonal antibody treatments will be distributed in the United States, including Georgia. The decision announced Monday by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is the result of supply shortages and extraordinary demand for the treatments across the country, particularly due to the rapid spread of the delta variant. Health care providers will no longer be able to order the treatments directly.

HHS will determine each state’s weekly allocation of monoclonal antibody products based on use and the number of new COVID cases. The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) will identify which sites in the state will receive the product and the amount each site receives. Healthcare providers must record their administration of the products in order to be eligible to receive additional shipments.

DPH will work to provide monoclonal antibody treatments quickly and equitably to as many Georgia providers as possible. The Department will also address the backlog of requests previously made to HHS, which DPH was not made aware of until yesterday.

Monoclonal antibodies are synthetic, laboratory-created antibodies. They help people at high risk for severe COVID illness, individuals who have recently tested positive (within 10 days) for the virus, or people who are close contacts of persons who have tested positive for COVID.  They do not teach a patient’s body how to create its own antibodies.

Monoclonal antibody treatments are not a replacement for COVID-19 vaccination.

“We have safe and highly effective vaccines to protect against COVID-19. It is much easier to get a vaccine than risk becoming seriously ill with life threatening complications,” said Kathleen E. Toomey, M.D., M.P.H., commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Health. “Monoclonal antibodies are in short supply and high demand and hospital beds are full. What Georgia does have is enough vaccine for all Georgians aged 12 and over to be vaccinated.”

As of today, 53% of Georgians have received at least one dose of COVID vaccine and 46% of Georgians are fully vaccinated. COVID vaccine is available statewide and is our best tool for ending this pandemic and reducing the overwhelming strain on EMS, the healthcare system and healthcare providers. To find a COVID vaccination location, log on to https://dph.georgia.gov/covid-vaccine.

There are currently 136 locations in Georgia where monoclonal antibody treatments are being administered. https://protect-public.hhs.gov/pages/therapeutics-distribution. Patients should talk to their healthcare provider about monoclonal antibody treatments and must have a prescription or physician’s referral to receive the treatments.

Coastal Health District Opens New COVID-19 Testing Site in Hinesville on Sept. 13

Next Monday, Sept. 13, the Coastal Health District will open a new COVID-19 testing site in Hinesville. The drive-through site at James Brown Park, 800 Tupelo Trail, will offer PCR testing and will be open for specimen collection Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

The Georgia Department of Public Health has contracted with Mako Medical, a North Carolina-based company, to provide testing services at the site. Health insurance will be billed for those with insurance, but insurance is not required, and no one will be charged a fee.

Pre-registration is strongly recommended and will help the line move more quickly at the testing site. You can begin the online pre-registration process at gachd.org/covidtest. For scheduling assistance, call the COVID-19 Testing Call Center at 1-912-230-9744 Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., and Friday from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.

For information about other COVID-19 testing opportunities in Georgia, visit the Georgia Department of Public Health website at dph.georgia.gov/covidtesting.

Georgia Surpasses Grim COVID-19 Milestone: More Than 20,000 Lives Lost to COVID-19

ATLANTA – The number of Georgians who have died from COVID-19 now surpasses 20,000. As of 3 p.m. today, there have been 20,041 confirmed COVID deaths in Georgia since the pandemic began.

“It is tragic but not surprising that we have surpassed this grim milestone of 20,000 COVID deaths in our state,” said Kathleen E. Toomey, M.D., M.P.H., Georgia Department of Public Health commissioner. “Ninety seven percent of COVID deaths since we’ve had vaccine are in unvaccinated individuals. These deaths are preventable.”

COVID vaccines are safe and effective at protecting against COVID-19 infections. COVID vaccines also help prevent severe illness and death if an individual does get sick. The vaccines also reduce the risk of people spreading the virus that causes COVID-19.

COVID cases are surging in Georgia, driven by the delta variant. The delta variant is more transmissible than the original SARS-CoV-2 and research shows that it results in a higher rate of severe illness and hospitalization than other variants. COVID-19 is spreading fastest in areas with low vaccination rates. Currently, only 44% of Georgians are fully vaccinated.

All Georgians aged 12 and older are urged to get vaccinated, wear a mask in public settings and wash their hands frequently.

COVID vaccine is available statewide and is our best tool for ending this pandemic and reducing the overwhelming strain on EMS, the healthcare system and healthcare providers. To find a COVID vaccination location, log on to https://dph.georgia.gov/covid-vaccine.

COVID testing is recommended immediately for anyone experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. Additionally, individuals who have had a known exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 should be tested, even if they are fully vaccinated. People who are fully vaccinated should get tested 3-5 days after exposure. Unvaccinated individuals should quarantine and be tested immediately after being identified, and, if negative, tested again in 5–7 days after last exposure. To find testing locations, log on to https://dph.georgia.gov/covidtesting. Please do not go to hospital emergency rooms for COVID testing.

COVID-19 Testing, Vaccination, and Health Dept. Operational Schedule for Labor Day Weekend

Health Department clinics, Environmental Health offices, and Coastal Health District offices will be closed for a state holiday on Friday, Sept. 3 and Monday, Sept. 6, 2021. However, COVID-19 vaccination and testing services will be offered at several locations. See a list of locations, dates, and times below.

To pre-register for a COVID-19 test, visit gachd.org/covidtest/. To schedule an appointment for vaccination, visit chdcovidvax.org.

Our Call Centers for testing and vaccination will be operational with normal hours, Friday, 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. and Monday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. For assistance with scheduling a COVID-19 test, call 912-230-9744. For assistance with vaccination, call 912-230-5506.

Health Dept. COVID-19 Vaccination (appointment link):

Friday, September 3:

  • Health Departments in Bryan, Camden, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long, and McIntosh from 8:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • Chatham Co. Health Dept. COVID-19 Annex @ 1249 Eisenhower Dr., 8:30 a.m. -1 p.m.

Monday, September 6:

  • Chatham Co. Health Dept. COVID-19 Annex @ 1249 Eisenhower Dr., 8:30 a.m. -3 p.m.
  • Glynn Co. Health Dept., 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Mobile Clinics Offering COVID-19 Vaccination:

Please note – mobile clinics cannot give third doses for immunocompromised individuals. First and second doses only.

Friday, September 3:

  • Thrive Early Learning Center, 465 Harris Trail Rd., Richmond Hill, 2 – 6 p.m.

Saturday, September 4:

  • Forsyth Farmer’s Market, 2 W. Gaston St., Savannah, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • Paynes Chapel AME, 2200 Albany St., Brunswick, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
  • K&M Multiservice, LLC, 5584 Ogeechee Rd., Savannah 1 – 4 p.m.

Sunday, September 5:

  • Temple of Glory Community Church, 1105 Stiles Ave., Savannah, 12:30 – 2:30 p.m.
  • Back 2 School Night @ Elks Lodge, 183 Wilshire Blvd., Savannah, 2 – 6 p.m.

Monday, September 6:

  • Rousakis Plaza near stage on River St., Savannah, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. (as long as supplies last)

COVID-19 Testing Schedule (pre-registration link):

Friday, September 3:

  • Savannah Civic Center, 301 W. Oglethorpe St., Savannah, 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
  • Southeast Georgia Health System, Kemble Ave. parking lot, Brunswick, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Effingham Hospital parking lot, 459 Hwy 119 South, Springfield, 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Saturday, September 4:

  • Savannah Civic Center, 301 W. Oglethorpe St., Savannah, 8:30 – 11:30 p.m.
  • Rousakis Plaza near the stage on River Street, Savannah, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • South Georgia Health System, Kemble Ave. parking lot, Brunswick, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Monday, September 6:

  • Savannah Civic Center, 301 W. Oglethorpe St., Savannah, 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
  • Rousakis Plaza near the stage on River Street, Savannah, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • South Georgia Health System, Kemble Ave. parking lot, Brunswick, 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Effingham Hospital parking lot, 459 Hwy 119 South, Springfield, 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

West Nile Virus Detected in Chatham/Glynn Co. Mosquito Samples

Samples from two mosquito pools from Wilmington Island in Chatham County and one mosquito pool from downtown Brunswick in Glynn County have tested positive for West Nile Virus (WNV).

Once WNV is detected in mosquitoes it is an indication that the virus is actively circulating in local mosquito populations, regardless of the specific location of positive mosquito pools.

These are the first positive WNV mosquito samples in the Coastal Health District in 2021. Mosquito prevention measures in those areas continue.

There has been one confirmed human case of WNV this year in Georgia and none in the eight Coastal Health District counties. WNV is transmitted to humans by the bite of infected mosquitoes. Fortunately, most people infected with WNV do not feel sick. About 20% of people who are infected will have mild symptoms like a fever, headache, body aches, joint pain, vomiting, diarrhea, or rash. However, a West Nile Virus infection can be serious, and 1 out of 150 infected people develop a severe, sometimes fatal, illness.

Residents are encouraged to take precautions to prevent mosquito breeding and mosquito bites. That includes cleaning up around homes, yards, and communities and getting rid of unnecessary items outdoors that can hold water, and wearing mosquito repellant that contains at least 20-30% DEET.

Residents are always encouraged to follow the “5 Ds” of mosquito bite prevention:

  • Dusk/Dawn – Avoid dusk and dawn activities during the summer when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Dress – Wear loose-fitting, long-sleeved shirts and pants to reduce the amount of exposed skin.
  • DEET – Cover exposed skin with an insect repellent containing the DEET, which is the most effective repellent against mosquito bites.
  • Drain – Empty any outdoor containers holding standing water because they are breeding grounds for virus-carrying mosquitoes.
  • Doors – Make sure doors and windows are in good repair and fit tightly, and fix torn or damaged screens to keep mosquitoes out of the house.

Georgia Hospitals on Diversion; Georgians Asked to Reduce Strain on EMS & Emergency Departments

ATLANTA – The current surge of COVID cases throughout Georgia is stretching hospital and EMS personnel and resources to unprecedented levels. As a result, many hospitals are having to declare themselves on diversion meaning they are temporarily unable to provide normal emergency care to patients arriving by ambulance. Diversion is a term specific to ambulance transports and is a request to ambulances to transport patients to other local facilitiesif possible.

Diversion does not apply to individuals seeking emergency medical care. Individuals experiencing a medical emergency should call 9-1-1 and ask for assistance.

The statewide hospital diversion website https://georgiarcc.org is a tool intended to be used by EMS agencies across Georgia so that they may take into consideration the diversion status(es) of hospitals they may be transporting patients to.

The Georgia Coordinating Center (GCC) is a communications center for use ONLY by ambulance crews who are transporting patients to emergency departments that are located in the 13-county metro Atlanta area. The public should NOT call the GCC with questions or concerns.

To help keep hospital emergency departments open and able to treat medical emergencies, individuals seeking COVID testing should not go to hospital emergency departments. COVID-19 testing locations are available throughout Georgia and can be found on the DPH website at https://dph.georgia.gov/covidtesting. COVID vaccination is available statewide and is our best tool for ending this pandemic and reducing the overwhelming strain on EMS, the healthcare system and healthcare providers. To find a COVID vaccination location, log on to https://dph.georgia.gov/covid-vaccine. Georgians aged 12 and older are urged to get vaccinated and wear a mask in public settings where social distancing is not possible