Local COVID-19 Testing Events & Information
READ MORE »

×

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

News


COVID-19 Testing Site Changes

Beginning Monday, June 8th, appointments will no longer be required for the Coastal Health District’s COVID-19 specimen collection sites in Savannah and Brunswick. These two sites will be available for drive-through testing several days each week, serving anyone who would like a test at no cost and with no appointment required.

“When these sites were first established, the appointments helped us manage our limited supplies and ensure access for priority testing groups,” said District Health Director, Dr. Lawton Davis. “Now that our supplies have increased and anyone can be tested, we can remove the barrier of scheduling an appointment for two of our busiest testing locations.”

Drive-through testing will be available without an appointment at these two fixed locations beginning June 8, 2020:

Savannah: 7221 Sallie Mood Drive, near the Jennifer Ross Soccer Complex

  • Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 8 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, 8:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.
  • “Pop-up” mobile testing sites in various locations on Tuesdays and Thursdays

Brunswick: 2747 4th Street in the parking lot of the Glynn County Health Dept.

  • Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
  • “Pop-up” mobile testing sites in various locations on Saturdays

Appointments are still required for the two specimen collection sites in Bryan County. The site in Richmond Hill offers free testing 7 days a week by appointment, and the site in Pembroke offers free testing by appointment every Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. Residents can call the Coastal Health District Testing Call Center at 912-230-9744 to begin the scheduling process for those 2 Bryan County sites.

Please note, as we move into the hot summer months, any testing site may close early and unexpectedly because of excessive heat or storms. Outdoor testing locations are ideal for reducing the risk of virus transmission, but thunderstorms pose a risk to health department staff and other first responders. Also, hot temperatures could lead to heat-related illness, especially for personnel wearing full personal protective equipment including masks, gloves, gowns, and face shields.

For additional information on testing, including a list of upcoming mobile testing sites, visit our COVID-19 testing page.

Beach Advisory Lifted for Captain Wylly Crossover Beach on Jekyll Island

Update on June 9, 2020:

The previous advisory for Captain Wylly Road Crossover Beach on Jekyll Island has been lifted. The advisory was issued June 2nd 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 that the bacteria levels had dropped below Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended limits. Therefore, the advisories have been lifted.


June 2, 2020:

graphic showing the beach water advisory signs

The Department of Natural Resources – Coastal Resources Division tests water samples at Glynn County beaches throughout the year. The test screens 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. Periodic advisories are not unusual, and sources of the bacteria could include animal waste, storm water runoff, or boating waste.

The advisory does NOT mean the beach is closed. Beach water advisories alert the public of a possible risk of illness associated with water contact in the advisory areas. The Health Department recommends you do not swim or wade in the water in the area under advisory. Fish and other seafood caught from the 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 program web page.

COVID-19 Death in Liberty County

The Coastal Health District has confirmed the death of a Liberty County resident from complications of COVID-19. The individual was an 89-year-old male who had underlying medical conditions.

This is the first confirmed COVID-19 related death in Liberty County, where there have been 82 confirmed cases of the illness.

For more information about COVID-19 in our area, visit the Coastal Health District at covid19.gachd.org.

Improvements Coming to COVID-19 Daily Status Report

Atlanta – Effective Tuesday, June 2, there will be several improvements to the COVID-19 Daily Status Report on the Georgia Department of Public Health’s (DPH) website. These changes are designed to make the dashboard more user-friendly while providing an accurate picture of COVID-19 in Georgia.

The changes to the Daily Status Report will include:

  • Once daily updates at 3 p.m. to allow time to process and validate laboratory and case reports.
  • Reordering the display of key summary metrics as follows: Confirmed COVID-19 Cases, Hospitalizations, Deaths, ICU Admissions.
  • A breakdown of the total number of molecular (PCR) tests, the total number of serology tests, and the number of positives and percentage of positives for each test type.
  • Revised charts of key demographics that more clearly present data.
  • Improved usability of charts and refinements to labelling and supporting documentation of the data. 

DPH will regularly review and update features of the dashboard to improve data quality and accuracy.

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

For information about COVID-19, visit https://dph.georgia.gov/novelcoronavirus or https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

COVID-19 Death in McIntosh County

The Coastal Health District has confirmed that a resident of McIntosh County has died from complications of COVID-19. The individual was a 63- year-old female who had underlying medical conditions.

This is the first confirmed COVID-19 related death in McIntosh County, where there have been 16 confirmed cases of the illness to date. For more information about COVID-19 in our area, visit the Coastal Health District at covid19.gachd.org

Beach Advisories Lifted on St. Simons Island


May 28, 2020

Update: The Glynn County Health Department has lifted the bacteria-related beach water advisories for East Beach at the Old Coast Guard Station, Massengale Park Beach, and the 5th Street Crossover Beach on St. Simons Island.

The advisories were issued on May 27, 2020 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 that the bacteria levels had dropped below Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended limits. Therefore, the advisories have been lifted.


May 27, 2020:

The Glynn County Health Department has issued beach water advisories for three beach locations on St. Simons Island. Advisories have been issued for East Beach at the Old Coast Guard Station, Massengale Park Beach, and the 5th Street Crossover Beach. These locations stretch from 10th Street on the north end of the island to 9th Street on the south end of the island.

To view a map of the advisory locations, visit gahealthybeaches.org.

graphic showing the beach water advisory signs

The Department of Natural Resources – Coastal Resources Division tests water samples at Glynn County beaches throughout the year. The test screens 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. Periodic advisories are not unusual, and sources of the bacteria could include animal waste, storm water runoff, or boating waste.

The advisory does NOT mean the beach is closed. Beach water advisories alert the public of a possible risk of illness associated with water contact in the advisory areas. The Health Department recommends you do not swim or wade in the water in the areas under advisory. Fish and other seafood caught from the areas 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 this week, and the advisories will be lifted when the bacteria levels meet the EPA’s recommended standards. For more information, visit our beach water testing page.

Additional Allotments of Remdesivir for Treatment of COVID-19 Distributed to Georgia Hospitals

The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) this week is distributing 18,440 vials of the drug remdesivir received from the federal government. Nearly 85 hospitals in Georgia will receive remdesivir, enough to treat about 1,676 patients with COVID-19 infection, depending on the duration of an individual’s illness and treatment needs.

Remdesivir is an antiviral medicine being used to treat hospitalized patients with serious symptoms caused by COVID-19 like low oxygen levels or pneumonia. It has been found to shorten the duration of disease in patients being treated in inpatient hospital settings. Remdesivir is given intravenously (IV) and decreases the amount of coronavirus in the body, helping patients recover faster.

Georgia hospitals receiving remdesivir had patients who met the federal criteria for treatment including COVID-19 positive patients on ventilators, in addition to patients currently being treated with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), a machine that takes over the work of the heart and lungs.

Remdesivir has not been approved by the FDA for widespread use because it is considered investigational and it is still being studied. Remdesivir was originally developed for use against Ebola. Clinical trials for remdesivir were done in Georgia at Emory University Hospital.

Georgia Hospitals/Hospital Systems Receiving Allotments of Remdesivir

In the Coastal Health District, the following hospitals are receiving allotments of remdesivir:

  • Memorial Health University Medical Center
  • Southeast Georgia Health System
  • St. Joseph’s/Candler

For a full list of hospitals throughout Georgia receiving remdesivir, view the press release from the Georgia Department of Public Health.

COVID-19 Death in Long County

The Georgia Department of Public Health has announced the death of a Long County resident from complications of COVID-19. The individual was a 75-year-old male who had underlying medical conditions.

This is the first confirmed COVID-19 related death in Long County, where there have been 12 confirmed cases of the illness.

For more information about COVID-19 in our area, visit the Coastal Health District’s COVID-19 website at covid19.gachd.org.

Beach Advisories Lifted on St. Simons Island & Jekyll Island

May 20, 2020

Update: The Glynn County Health Department has lifted the bacteria-related beach water advisories for East Beach at the Old Coast Guard Station on St. Simons Island and South Beach at the 4-H Camp on Jekyll Island.

The advisories were issued on May 19, 2020 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 that the bacteria levels had dropped below Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended limits. Therefore, the advisory has been lifted.


May 19, 2020:

The Glynn County Health Department has issued two beach water advisories. One advisory is for East Beach at the Old Coast Guard Station from Tenth Street to Driftwood Drive on St. Simons Island. The second advisory is for South Beach at the 4-H Camp, which is from the South Water Tower to Macy Lane on Jekyll Island.

graphic showing the beach water advisory signs

The Department of Natural Resources – Coastal Resources Division tests water samples at Glynn County beaches throughout the year. The test screens 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. Periodic advisories are not unusual, and sources of the bacteria could include animal waste, storm water runoff, or boating waste.

The advisory does NOT mean the beach is closed. Beach water advisories alert the public of a possible risk of illness associated with water contact in the advisory areas. The Health Department recommends you do not swim or wade in the water in the area under advisory. Fish and other seafood caught from the area should be thoroughly washed with fresh water and thoroughly cooked before eating, as should fish or seafood caught from any waters. 

Both areas will be re-tested this week, and the advisories will be lifted when the bacteria levels meet the EPA’s recommended standards. For more information about beach water testing, go to GaCHD.org  and click on the Environmental Health tab at the top of the page.
                                                                    

Georgia DPH Distributes Remdesivir to Hospitals for Treatment of COVID-19

Atlanta – The Georgia Department of Public Health(DPH) today is distributing an initial allotment of the drug remdesivir received from the federal government. Georgia received 30 cases, with 40 vials of the drug per case, enough to treat about 110 patients, depending on the duration of an individual’s treatment.

Remdesivir is an antiviral medicine being used to treat hospitalized patients with serious symptoms caused by COVID-19 like low oxygen levels or pneumonia. It has been found to shorten the duration of disease in patients being treated in inpatient hospital settings. Remdesivir is given intravenously (IV) and decreases the amount of coronavirus in the body, helping patients recover faster.

The distribution plan for remdesivir in Georgia was developed by DPH leadership, including district health directors and emergency preparedness staff, in accordance with Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines for its use. It is based on the number of patients on ventilators, the most severely ill, and clinical best practices.

Georgia hospitals receiving remdesivir reported 10 or more COVID-19 positive patients on ventilators, in addition to patients currently being treated with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), a machine that takes over the work of the heart and lungs. These criteria are subject to change based on the availability of remdesivir and the development of patient care at hospital facilities across the state.

The following hospitals are receiving remdesivir; Tift Regional Medical Center, Northeast Georgia Medical Center, Wellstar Kennestone Hospital, Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital, Grady Health System, Emory University Hospital, Emory University Hospital Midtown, and Augusta University Medical Center.

“DPH is pleased to have the opportunity to share this promising treatment with hospitals on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19,” said Kathleen E. Toomey, M.D., M.P.H., DPH commissioner. “While this drug is not a cure for COVID-19, getting it into the hospitals and improving patient outcomes is moving in the right direction.”

Georgia has received a second, much larger allotment of remdesivir. DPH is surveying hospitals statewide over the weekend to determine need. This second allotment will be distributed next week.

Gilead Sciences, Inc. committed to supplying approximately 607,000 vials of the experimental drug over the next six weeks to treat an estimated 78,000 hospitalized COVID-19 patients under an emergency use agreement (EUA). The donation to the United States is part of 1.5 million vials of remdesivir the company is donating worldwide.

Remdesivir has not been approved by the FDA for widespread use because it is considered investigational and it is still being studied. Remdesivir was originally developed for use against Ebola. Clinical trials for remdesivir were done in Georgia at Emory University Hospital.

UPDATE 5.21.20
Second Allotment of Remdesivir Headed to Hospitals for Treatment of COVID-19

Atlanta – The Georgia Department of Public Health(DPH) is distributing a second allotment of the drug remdesivir received from the federal government. Twenty-nine hospitals in Georgia will receive remdesivir, enough to treat more than 300 patients, depending on the duration of an individual’s illness and treatment needs.

Remdesivir is an antiviral medicine being used to treat hospitalized patients with serious symptoms caused by COVID-19 like low oxygen levels or pneumonia. It has been found to shorten the duration of disease in patients being treated in inpatient hospital settings. Remdesivir is given intravenously (IV) and decreases the amount of coronavirus in the body, helping patients recover faster.

3,440 vials of remdesivir, able to treat approximately 310 patients, will be distributed to 29 hospitals affiliated with the following healthcare systems: Navicent, Northside, Piedmont and WellStar.

Georgia hospitals receiving remdesivir reported 10 or more COVID-19 positive patients on ventilators, in addition to patients currently being treated with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), a machine that takes over the work of the heart and lungs. These criteria are subject to change based on the availability of remdesivir and the development of patient care at hospital facilities across the state.

A third allotment of remdesivir in powder form is expected to arrive in Georgia by Friday. The liquid form of remdesivir is not recommended for pediatric use, but the powder form can be mixed for dosing based on a child’s weight, which will provide treatment for the youngest patients with COVID-19 infection.

Gilead Sciences, Inc., the maker of remdesivir, is donating approximately 607,000 vials of the experimental drug to treat an estimated 78,000 hospitalized COVID-19 patients under an emergency use agreement (EUA). The donation to the United States is part of 1.5 million vials of remdesivir the company is donating worldwide.

Remdesivir has not been approved by the FDA for widespread use because it is considered investigational and it is still being studied. Remdesivir was originally developed for use against Ebola. Clinical trials for remdesivir were done in Georgia at Emory University Hospital.

For more information about COVID-19 visit https://dph.georgia.gov/novelcoronavirus or https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

For updates on the COVID-19 situation as it develops, follow @GaDPH, @GeorgiaEMA, and @GovKemp on Twitter, and @GaDPH, @GEMA.OHS, and @GovKemp on Facebook.