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

News


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.

McIntosh Co. Health Department to Host COVID-19 Vaccination Event

The McIntosh County Health Department will hold a COVID-19 vaccination clinic on Thursday, September 23, at the health department on Hwy. 57 in Townsend. The Moderna vaccine, approved for ages 18 and older, will be offered from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Pfizer vaccine, approved for ages 12 and older, will be offered from 3 to 6:30 p.m.

As a reminder, the Moderna vaccine is available at the health department every Thursday.  

Only 36 percent of residents in McIntosh County are fully vaccinated and COVID-19 is still widespread throughout the community. Anyone who has not yet been vaccinated is urged to do so as soon as possible. The vaccine is free, regardless of insurance. Appointments can be scheduled at chdcovidvax.org.

“The vaccine does a great job of protecting against serious illness,” said McIntosh County Health Department Nurse Manager, Brooke Deverger. “We hope our residents will take advantage of this opportunity to protect themselves and their families by getting vaccinated.”  

For more information on COVID-19 vaccines, call the health department at 912-832-5473 or go to covid19.gachd.org.

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.

Chatham Co. Health Dept. Expands COVID-19 Testing and Vaccination Services to New Sites in West Chatham County on Sept. 9

Beginning Thursday, Sept. 9, the Chatham County Health Department is expanding COVID-19 testing and vaccination services into the western portion of the county in partnership with Gulfstream Aerospace Corp., Georgia Tech Savannah, CORE, and Mako Medical.

The new drive-through COVID-19 testing site will be located on the Georgia Tech Savannah Campus at 210 Technology Circle, Savannah GA 31407. The health department has partnered with Mako Medical to offer PCR testing services at the site Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. There is no cost for COVID-19 testing through public health. Appointments are not required for testing, but pre-registration is strongly recommended for a faster visit at the specimen collection site. To pre-register for a COVID-19 test, visit gachd.org/covidtest.

The new COVID-19 vaccination clinic will be located at 171 Crossroads Parkway, Savannah, GA 31407. The health department has partnered with CORE (Community Organized Relief Effort) to offer COVID-19 vaccinations at the site Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Pfizer vaccine will be available each day, Johnson and Johnson vaccine will be available on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and Moderna vaccine will be available on Tuesdays and Thursdays. There is no cost for vaccination. Appointments are required, and you can schedule an appointment for vaccination at chdcovidvax.org.

The Coastal Health District also offers a call center for assistance with testing and vaccination appointments. For assistance with scheduling a COVID-19 test, call 912-230-9744. For assistance with vaccination, call 912-230-5506. More testing and vaccination opportunities are listed on our website at covid19.gachd.org.

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.

Beach Advisory Lifted for South Beach on Tybee Island

September 2, 2021

The Chatham County Health Department has lifted the beach water advisory for South Beach at Chatham Street, which is from 18th Street to the Inlet Avenue on Tybee Island.

The advisory was issued on August 31, 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 showed the bacteria levels had dropped below Environmental Protection Agency’s recommended limits. Therefore, the advisory has been lifted.


August 31, 2021

The Chatham County Health Department has issued a beach water advisory for South Beach at Chatham Street, from 18th Street to Inlet Avenue on Tybee Island.

graphic showing the beach water advisory signs

When an advisory is issued, it is only for the area specified 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.

Coastal Health District and Effingham Health System Partner to Offer Free COVID-19 Testing in Springfield

A partnership between the Coastal Health District and Effingham Health System will bring free COVID-19 testing to Springfield beginning this Thursday, September 2nd. The drive-through testing site will be located at 459 Highway 119 South, across from the west entrance to the hospital. Enter the hospital campus off First Street to access the testing site. The site will be open for specimen collection every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 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.

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.

Lutheran Churches in Effingham Co. to Host COVID-19 Vaccination Events

Two churches in Effingham County will hold the following COVID-19 vaccination events next month in Rincon:

  • 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
    Wednesday September 8th and Wednesday, September 29th
    St. John’s Lutheran Church located at 301 N. Columbia Avenue in Rincon
  • 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
    Wednesday, September 22nd, and Wednesday, October 13th
    Jerusalem Lutheran Church located at 2966 Ebenezer Road in Rincon

The Pfizer and Janssen vaccines will be available at the events. The Pfizer vaccine is approved for those 12 years and older and requires two doses a few weeks apart, and the Janssen vaccine by Johnson and Johnson is approved for those 18 years and older and only requires one dose.

Only 32 percent of residents in Effingham County are fully vaccinated and the community transmission rate in the County is at an all-time high. Anyone who has not yet been vaccinated is urged to do so as soon as possible. The vaccine is free, regardless of insurance, and no appointment is necessary.

“From the Bible we read in the book of 3rd John verse 2 a prayer that the reader of the letter be as healthy in body as they are strong in spirit,” said Reverend Rick Johnson, pastor at St. John’s Lutheran. “The spirit of our community has always been strong and our prayer in the here and now is that our Lord give us the strength and guidance to be present and help everyone in our community to do what it takes to remain healthy in body as well as mind and spirit in the teeth of this pandemic and be vaccinated.”

For more information on COVID-19 or COVID-19 vaccines, go to covid19.gachd.org.