Newsletter from the Coastal Health District (December 17, 2021)

The following information is courtesy of the Georgia Department of Public Health Coastal Health District



Weekly Update for 12.17.21
Safer Holiday Celebrations

As we approach the height of the holiday season with parties, travel, and extended family visits, we're also keeping a close eye on COVID. Frankly, we don't like what we're seeing. Abroad, the Omicron variant is causing a major surge in case numbers, and the health community expects the highly-contagious Omicron will eventually be the dominant strain the United States too. 

Meanwhile, we do know that the Delta variant is still circulating, and there has been an upward trend in case numbers across Georgia. While Omicron is concerning, we can't forget about the virus that is already here on our doorstep making people sick. We don't need to wait for the arrival of Omicron to be cautious.

But this doesn't mean you can't still enjoy the holidays - we just encourage everyone to celebrate more safely this year.

  • Protect yourself and those around you by getting vaccinated and boosted.
  • Wear well-fitting masks over your nose and mouth if you are in public indoor settings.
  • Remember, outdoors is safer than indoors.
  • Avoid crowded, poorly ventilated spaces.
  • If you are sick or have symptoms, don’t host or attend a gathering.
  • Testing can give you information about your risk of spreading COVID-19. Consider using a self-test before joining indoor gatherings with others who are not in your household.

The more we all work together, the more we can accomplish in slowing the spread of COVID-19. 

J&J Update

This week, the CDC has updated its COVID-19 vaccine recommendations and is now expressing a preference for the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines over Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine.

CDC made this distinction after reviewing the most recent evidence of vaccine effectiveness and vaccine safety. While adverse events from the J&J COVID vaccine are rare, there is a possible link between the J&J vaccine and blood clots with low platelets (thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome, or TTS).
It occurs at a rate of about 7 per 1 million vaccinated women between 18 and 49 years old. For women 50 years and older and men of all ages, this adverse event is even more rare.

Because the U.S. supply of mRNA vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) is abundant, and because mRNA vaccines have not been linked to similar adverse events, the CDC is recommending the mRNA vaccines. But individuals who are unable or unwilling to receive an mRNA vaccine will continue to have access to Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine.

If you're not sure which vaccine is best for you, talk with your doctor or your local health department. 


Holiday Schedule for
COVID Testing and Vaccination

Our team will be enjoying a few days off during the holiday season, but we'll still have several opportunities for COVID-19 vaccinations and testing.

All public health clinics and offices will be closed on the following days:

  • Wednesday, December 23rd
  • Thursday, December 24th
  • Friday, December 31st
  • Monday, January 3rd

Health departments will close at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, December 22nd and at 5 p.m. on Thursday, December 30th.

The last day for testing at the Savannah Civic Center is Wednesday, December 29th.


Know Before You Go

Learn about vaccination, testing, and mask requirements before you travel internationally. 
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This article was originally published by The Landings Association on their website.

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