COVID-19 Prevention & Vaccine Updates


Coastal Health District and Effingham Health System Partner to Offer FREE COVID-19 TESTING IN SPRINGFIELD BEGINNING THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 2nd.

OPEN Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

The drive-through testing site will be located at 459 Highway 119 South, across from the WEST ENTRANCE to the hospital. Enter the Effingham Health System campus off First Street to access the testing site.

The Georgia Department of Public Health has contracted with Mako Medical, a North Carolinabased 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.


IMPORTANT EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT MESSAGE

Due to the COVID public health emergency in Effingham and surrounding counties, we are seeing an extraor

dinary surge in positive COVID patients presenting to the Emergency Department. It has inundated our hospital staff and will tax our resources if we don’t respond promptly. As you know, the positivity rate in our county is steadily increasing. We have seen our rate increase from 11.6% on 7/26 to 19.1% on 8/2, and it continues to get worse each day.

It is essential that we prioritize COVID testing in the emergency room for patients who are severely ill and have life-threatening emergencies or those who require hospitalization or transfer. 

All other patients with suspected COVID or exposure to COVID will be given instructions to go home and quarantine per CDC guidance. We will advise them when to seek emergency care and to follow up with their primary care physician as appropriate.

We appreciate your support as we navigate these challenging times and this surge in the pandemic that has negatively impacted the health of our community.

Please get vaccinated, if not for yourself, then for someone you love. Please help us to SAVE LIVES.

TESTING FOR COVID-19 is available through your primary care physician or the Department of Public Health. Find additional informatin and locations for testing at: https://dph.georgia.gov/covidtesting.


VACCINE & BOOSTER UPDATE

Due to high demand for Vaccinations, we cannot accommodate walk-ins. Please make an appointment online at https://effinghamhospital-dose1.rsvpify.com/.

If you do not have internet access, or would like to schedule a Booster Dose, call  (912)754-0283.

Moderately to severely immunocompromised patients requesting a Booster Dose will be screened to ensure that they qualify based on the following CDC criteria:

  • Been receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the bloodReceived an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
  • Received a stem cell transplant within the last 2 years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
  • Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge or Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
  • Advanced or untreated HIV infection
  • Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress immune response

Patients should talk to their healthcare provider about their medical condition, and whether getting an additional dose is appropriate for them.


CURRENT HOSPITAL VISITATION POLICY

PER CDC GUIDELINES, ALL PERSONS ENTERING OUR HEALTHCARE FACILITY MUST BE SCREENED FOR COVID-19 PRIOR TO ENTRY. VISITORS AND PATIENTS ARE REQUIRED TO WEAR A FACEMASK WHILE IN THE FACILITY UNLESS MEDICALLY CONTRADICTED.  ANY VISITORS WHO SCREEN POSITIVE WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO VISIT.

Due to increases in COVID cases in our community, the following visitation limits are in effect begging 8.16.21:

There will be no visitation permitted throughout the hospital. This includes ER, OR, MedSurg, Rehab, and all ancillary services. 
Exceptions may be made for:
  • Compassionate care in ER and MedSurg – 2 immediate family members
  • Pediatric patients – 1 guardian or caregiver
  • Patients who cannot make their needs known – 1 designated visitor
Morrison’s will be closed to the public.

Limited Entrances to Hospital continue:

  • Rehabilitative Services Entrance: Open Mon-Fri, 6:00 am-6:00 pm only.
  • Emergency Room Entrance: Open 24/7
  • Cancer Care Center: Open to Cancer Care Center Patients ONLY
  • Additional Safety Measures are being implemented to keep our patients and staff healthy. Staff members who are not vaccinated will be required to wear an N95 mask and to have weekly COVID-19 tests.

All Georgians age 12 and older are now eligible for COVID-19 vaccine.

  • Note for individuals ages 12-17: Anyone under age 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to receive the vaccination. The Pfizer vaccine is the only vaccine currently authorized for ages 12-17. Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are authorized for ages 18 and up.
  • The easiest way to schedule an appointment is online (click here). For those people needing assistance in scheduling appointments, please call 912-754-0283 (Mon-Fri 10 am – 6 pm, and Sat-Sun 10 am — 4 pm) to schedule an appointment.
  • Since vaccines are allocated for the state’s population, please bring some form of I.D. to prove Georgia residency or an employee I.D. to prove you work in the State of Georgia.

EHS OPTIONS FOR COVID-19 VACCINATIONS:

EFFINGHAM HOSPITAL RETAIL PHARMACY:

EFFINGHAM FAMILY MEDICINE: Please call your provider’s office directly to schedule an appointment.

Please check for Vaccine Appointment Updates on our website, EffinghamHealth.org/coronavirus, or follow our Facebook page @EffinghamHealth.  


Do you have questions about the COVID-19 Vaccines?

Click here for 8 things to know and answers to frequently asked questions.


SAFETY MEASURES IN PLACE AT EFFINGHAM HEALTH SYSTEM

In response to the exponential growth of COVID-19 cases in our county, and the impact of the Delta Variant, we are taking special measures in our facilities to ensure the safety of our patients and our staff.

  • Masks are mandatory on all EHS properties until further notice. This includes vaccinated people as well.
  • Unvaccinated employees will be asked to wear N95 masks along with weekly testing.

Our goal is to keep our community healthy!


Domestic Travel During COVID-19 | CDC

There are several things to consider when deciding whether it is safe for you to travel within the United States. This includes the following: is COVID-19 spreading where you’re going, will you be in close contact with others, are you at higher risk of severe illness if you do get COVID-19, do you have a plan for taking time off from work or school, do you live with someone who is older or …read more at www.cdc.gov

International Travel During COVID-19 | CDC

Fully vaccinated travelers are less likely to get and spread COVID-19. However, international travel poses additional risks, and even fully vaccinated travelers are at increased risk for getting and possibly spreading new COVID-19 variants. CDC recommends delaying international travel until you are fully vaccinated. read more at www.cdc.gov

FOR THOSE WHO HAVE APPOINTMENTS WITH THE RETAIL PHARMACY

  1. Vaccines will be administered in the hospital’s Retail Pharmacy, located in the Hospital Atrium.
  2. Enter the hospital through the Main/ER entrance.
  3. All vaccine recipients will be screened and must wear a mask in the hospital.
  • Please check back regularly for updated information regarding the roll-out through Effingham Health System. This information is subject to change based upon vaccine availability and updates from DPH. We thank you for your patience and look forward to vaccinating you as soon as possible per the guidelines established by Public Health.
  • For easy access to updates on the COVID-19 Vaccination roll-out, please like and follow our Effingham Health System Facebook Page. 

AHA, AMA, and ANA Urge Healthcare Professionals to Take COVID-19 Vaccine

Click to Read Letter



Coronavirus Prevention at Effingham Health System

  • In response to the National Emergency, we are instituting Coronavirus Prevention and Awareness Measures. We are assuming a robust, aggressive, proactive position to promote a healthy community. 
  • Please read these guidelines to help us keep you, your family, your friends—and our community healthcare workers—healthy throughout the coronavirus threat. Given not everyone infected by COVID-19 exhibits symptoms, our policies are designed to minimize traffic and reduce risk of infection for all our patients and residents. In response to a frequently asked question, we are using a top-of-the-line disinfectant within our facilities, along with best practices to maintain a healthy hospital environment.

Patient Screenings in Effect Until Further Notice:

  • All patients entering Effingham Hospital will be screened and have their temperature checked, prior to entering the building and will be asked to wear a mask inside the hospital.
  • Please Note: To maintain a safe environment for all our patients, non-emergency ER patients presenting with CDC COVID-19 symptoms may be asked to wait in their car until an appropriate exam room is available. 

Your Role in Staying Safe

  • The good habits we have learned, like careful hand-washing, cloth face covers, and social distancing, will continue to be important. Learn more about what you can do to protect yourself and your family, and stop the spread of COVID-19. Click here to visit the CDC website for more information.