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

News


Beach Advisory Issued on Tybee Island

The Chatham County Health Department has issued a water quality advisory for Polk Street Beach, which extends from from the north end of the beach to the jetty on Tybee 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 areas will be re-tested, and the advisories 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.

Beach Advisories Lifted on St. Simons and Tybee Islands

Updated March 18, 2021:

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

The advisories were issued on March 16, 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 show the bacteria level dropped below the Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended limits. Therefore, the advisories have been lifted.


March 16, 2021:

The Glynn and Chatham County Health Departments have issued water quality advisories for beach locations on St. Simons and Tybee Islands. 

The areas under advisory are:

  • South Beach at the Lighthouse: from 9th Street to the Pier on St. Simons Island
  • South Beach at Chatham Street: from 18th Street to Inlet Avenue on Tybee 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 areas will be re-tested, and the advisories 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.

Organizations Partner to Address Vaccine Concerns during Facebook Live Event

The Brunswick (GA) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated, the Glynn County Health Department/Coastal Health District, and Southeast Georgia Health System are partnering to present “Real Talk: A Vaccination Conversation” live on Facebook at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 25. The virtual town hall will include physicians and community leaders sharing extensive knowledge and answering questions about the COVID-19 vaccine.

“It is very important that our communities are reassured that receiving the vaccine is safe,” said President of the Brunswick (GA) Chapter of The Links, Incorporated, Jackie Bryant. “We want to engage the public and improve outreach and communication efforts to the citizens who are most affected by COVID-19.”

Residents will have the opportunity to submit questions during the forum as well as hear from infectious disease specialist, Steven Mosher, M.D., Southeast Georgia Physician Associates – Infectious Disease; Glynn County Health Department outreach and education specialist, Katrina Howard; and behavioral health specialist, Janel Holland, LCSW.

“I am very grateful that we now have several vaccine options to help us battle the Covid-19 pandemic. However, in order to succeed and save additional lives we need those who are eligible to get vaccinated,” said Mosher. “The data from several countries with successful vaccination programs has shown how well the vaccine can stop the spread of disease, decrease hospitalizations, and prevent death. I urge the public to get vaccinated when they become eligible.”

The event will also include testimonials from residents who have already received the COVID-19 vaccine.

“The quickest way to get back to the way things were before COVID-19 is for as many people as possible to get vaccinated,” said Glynn County Health Department outreach and education specialist, Katrina Howard. “It is completely understandable to have questions about the vaccine and we want to help answer those questions and clear up any concerns.”

Go to www.facebook.com/linksbrunswick to join the Vaccination Conversation live on Thursday, March 25th. More information on COVID-19 vaccines can also be found on the Coastal Health District website at covid19.gachd.org.

Appointments Available for Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Clinics Saturday, March 13 in Chatham County

Appointments are now available for 7 different COVID-19 vaccination clinics happening throughout Chatham County on Saturday, March 13. Six of the clinics will offer the new Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine, and one clinic will offer Pfizer.

First availability was given to local educators, school staff, and childcare workers. Now the remaining appointments are available to anyone who currently qualifies for vaccination. This includes all adults over the age of 65 and their caregivers, educators/school staff in pre-K through 12th grade, early childcare center employees, adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their caregivers, parents of children with complex medical conditions, funeral home workers, healthcare workers, emergency first responders, and residents/staff of long-term care facilities.

Participating providers include the Chatham County Health Department, Coastal Care Partners, Curtis V. Cooper Primary Health Care, Georgetown Drug Company, Hospice Savannah, J.C. Lewis Primary Healthcare, Memorial Health, Pooler Pharmacy, St. Josephs/Candler Health System, and the Coastal Health District.


Saturday Clinics, March 13, 2021

Notes:

  • Six clinics are offering Johnson & Johnson, and one clinic (St. Joseph’s/Candler) is offering Pfizer.
  • Please wear short sleeve clothing.
  • Do not arrive early for your appointment as this creates crowding at the event location.
  • Health insurance is not required and there is no out-of-pocket cost for vaccination. However, if you have insurance, please bring your health insurance information. Some providers may bill the health insurance company, but you will not be billed directly for vaccination.

Chatham County Health Department with J.C. Lewis Primary Healthcare:

  • Where: Health Department Clinic at 1395 Eisenhower Drive, Savannah
  • Vaccine: Johnson & Johnson

Coastal Care Partners and SCCPSS:

  • Where: Hesse K-8 School, 9116 Whitefield Ave, Savannah
  • Vaccine: Johnson & Johnson

Georgetown Drug Company

  • Where: 1080 King George Blvd, Savannah
  • Vaccine: Johnson & Johnson

Hospice Savannah

  • Where: Gulfstream at 171 Crossroads Parkway
  • Vaccine: Johnson & Johnson

Memorial Health Dwaine & Cynthia Willett Children’s Hospital of Savannah (at GenerationOne location)

  • Where: GenerationOne, 1100 Eisenhower Drive
  • Vaccine: Johnson & Johnson

Pooler Pharmacy

  • Where: Pooler Pharmacy (NEW LOCATION) 1557 Pooler Pkwy, Suite 400 in Pooler (in front of Lowe’s)
  • Vaccine: Johnson & Johnson

St. Josephs/Candler: PFIZER ONLY

  • Where: Good Samaritan Clinic at 4704 Augusta Rd., Garden City
  • Vaccine: PFIZER ONLY

Georgia Expands COVID Vaccine Eligibility Beginning March 15th

Atlanta – The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) and Governor Brian Kemp today announced the state will expand its vaccine eligibility March 15, 2021, to include adults aged 55 and older, individuals with disabilities and certain medical conditions.

Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities are already eligible for vaccination. This expansion now includes disabilities caused by an injury (e.g., traumatic brain injury or spinal cord injury), a disability due to a longstanding condition that could cause vision loss, nerve damage or loss of a limb, or a disability due to illness such as ALS or multiple sclerosis.

The medical conditions referenced are:

Asthma (moderate to severe)                         Immunocompromised

Cancer                                                            Liver disease

Cerebrovascular disease                               Neurologic conditions

Chronic kidney disease                                  Overweight and obesity

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease       Pregnancy

Cystic Fibrosis                                                Pulmonary fibrosis

Diabetes                                                          Sickle Cell Disease

Hypertension or high blood pressure             Thalassemia (blood disorder)

Heart conditions         

To find a vaccine location near you or to schedule an appointment, log on to https://dph.georgia.gov/covid-vaccine. For individuals aged 16 and 17 who are in an eligible population for vaccination, Pfizer is the only vaccine currently approved for these ages. Please schedule an appointment at CVS or Walgreens or at one of the GEMA mass vaccination sites to ensure Pfizer vaccine is available to you.

For updates on COVID-19, follow @GaDPH and @GovKemp on Twitter and @GaDPH and @GovKemp on Facebook.

National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Events Scheduled

The Coastal Health District is observing National Women & Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day with free, confidential HIV testing events throughout the district during March. There will also be giveaways, including gift cards, swag bags, women’s health kits, and COVID-19 self-protection kits.

National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NWGHAAD) is an annual observance that sheds light on the impact of HIV and AIDS on women and girls. Every year on March 10, and throughout the month of March, federal, national, and community organizations come together to show support for women and girls impacted by HIV and AIDS.

Women face unique HIV risks and challenges that can prevent them from getting needed care and treatment. Addressing these issues remains critical to achieving an HIV- and AIDS-free generation.

Click here for a Comprehensive event list.

Local Healthcare Providers Offer COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics for Educators

Local healthcare providers in Chatham County are partnering to offer several mass vaccination clinics for educators and school staff. The clinics will be held in various locations throughout Chatham County the weekend of March 13-14. Details are being shared directly with educators and school staff through local public and private school administrators.

Participating providers include the Chatham County Health Department, Coastal Care Partners, Curtis V. Cooper Primary Health Care, Georgetown Drug Company, Hospice Savannah, J.C. Lewis Primary Healthcare, Memorial Health Dwaine & Cynthia Willett Children’s Hospital of Savannah (at GenerationOne location), Pooler Pharmacy, St. Josephs/Candler Health System, and the Coastal Health District.

“Our teachers and school employees play such a critical role in our local communities, and we need to offer vaccination opportunities that won’t disrupt instructional time,” said Dr. Lawton Davis, Health Director of the Coastal Health District. “This partnership among healthcare providers is a great example of a community response to a community-wide health emergency.”

All other Georgians eligible for vaccination can make an appointment with local healthcare providers during regular clinic hours. Appointments with the Coastal Health District can be scheduled online at chdcovidvax.org or by calling 912-230-5506 during business hours.

COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic Offered March 10 at Howard Coffin Park in Brunswick

The Coastal Health District will hold a COVID-19 vaccination event on Wednesday, March 10th at Howard Coffin Park at 1402 Sonny Miller Way in Brunswick. Appointments will be available after hours to accommodate educators, school staff, childcare workers.

The clinic will be held from 10 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. by appointment. Appointments can be scheduled online at chdcovidvax.org or by phone at 912-230-5506.

According to the new phase of eligibility that begins in Georgia on March 8th, the following individuals will be eligible for vaccination at this clinic:

  • Educators and school staff in pre-K through 12th grade (public and private school),
  • Employees of early childcare facilities,
  • Adults with developmental or intellectual disabilities and their caregivers,
  • Parents of children with complex medical conditions,
  • Healthcare workers,
  • Emergency first responders,
  • Adults age 65 and older and their caregivers,
  • Staff and residents of long-term care facilities, and
  • Funeral home workers who come into direct contact with the deceased.

You must be a Georgia resident or employed in Georgia to be vaccinated, but you do not have to reside in Glynn County. The event is open to any qualifying Georgian. If you have health insurance, the policy will be billed, but there is no out-of-pocket cost for vaccination and insurance is not required.

The clinic will utilize Pfizer vaccine, and all who are vaccinated at this event will return in three weeks for the second shot in the two-dose series. Please remember to dress in short sleeves to facilitate vaccination. To avoid crowding at the event, please do not arrive early for your appointment.

COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility Criteria to Expand

On Monday, March 8th, more Georgia residents will become eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Governor Brian Kemp and Georgia Department of Public Health Commissioner, Dr. Kathleen Toomey, announced last week that eligibility criteria will expand to include:

  • All educators and school staff in pre-K through 12th grade
  • Educators and staff in early childcare centers 
  • Adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their caregivers
  • Parents of children with complex medical conditions

The Coastal Health District is making plans to accommodate those included in the newly expanded group on March 8th. Meanwhile, plenty of appointment slots remain open this week for the current group of eligible Georgians.

“If you’re 65 years old or older, or if you’re a caregiver of someone over 65, I encourage you to make your appointment now,” said Health Director for the Coastal Health District, Dr. Lawton Davis. “As more people become eligible for the vaccine, we expect an increased demand for appointments, so this is a great time to book an appointment if you fall into the current phase.”

Appointments can be scheduled online anytime at www.chdcovidvax.org, or by calling our COVID-19 Vaccine Phone Bank at 912-230-5506. The phone bank is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Fridays from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Beach Advisory Lifted on St. Simons Island

Updated March 3, 2021:

The Glynn County Health Department has lifted the beach water advisory for South Beach at the lighthouse, which is from the 9th Street to the pier on St. Simons Island.

The advisory was issued on March 2, 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 show the bacteria level has dropped below the Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended limits. Therefore, the advisory has been lifted.


The Glynn County Health Department has issued a water quality 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 signsThe 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, 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.