Coronavirus (COVID-19) Prevention

NOTICE: 3.19.20—While an Effingham County person has tested positive for COVID-19, that person was NOT tested at, and is NOT a patient of, Effingham Health System.
NOTICE: 3.20.20— COVID-19 Updates: Gov. Kemp, DPH & GEMA Prioritize Testing for Most Vulnerable, First Responders, Health Workers.

A Message From Our CEO

Concern over coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, is flooding emergency rooms, including the ER at Effingham Health System.

Please understand that hospital emergency rooms are not designated testing locations. The tests we do have are prioritized for the most at-risk patients, first responders, healthcare workers, and law enforcement, based on guidelines issued by Governor Brian P. Kemp, the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH), and the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency (GEMA). (Read the full article.)

Per their joint statement, “Many Georgians are eager to be tested right now, but we need to be mindful of our resources. We have to be in this fight together.”

Most of the patients requesting COVID-19 testing do not meet that criteria and are preventing us from addressing patients who require immediate emergency care.

For most otherwise healthy individuals, self-quarantine at home is advised. Unless you are experiencing severe symptoms, including fever, cough, and shortness of breath, that should be sufficient until you are fully recovered.

We ask local residents to follow this advice so that we can continue to treat other critical healthcare emergencies that might impact you, your family and others in our community.  

Dr. Fran Witt, CEO, Effingham Health System

Coronavirus Prevention

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 And Visitor Screenings in Effect Until Further Notice:

  • Visitors and patients who have recently traveled outside the U.S., through a major airport, or been in close contact with anyone who has traveled recently, will be asked to present themselves to health system employees upon entry to any EHS facility.
  • People experiencing fever, cough, sore throat, or shortness of breath will also be screened by health system employees upon entry to any EHS facility.

Limited Entrances to Hospital

  • Rehabilitative Services Entrance: Open Mon-Fri, 7:15am-5:00pm only.
  • Emergency Room Entrance: Open 24/7
  • Cancer Care Center: Open to Cancer Care Center Patients ONLY

Visitation Restrictions 


  • Effingham Hospital InpatientsNo Visitation until further notice.
  • Effingham Care & Rehabilitation Center— No Visitation until further notice,  with the exception of Immediate Family for Hospice Patients.
  • Emergency Room— Limited to one visitor per patient.
  • Operating Room Day Surgery—Limited to one visitor per patient, ideally person driving patient home.

Morrison’s Café Closed Temporarily

Effective Monday, March 16th, Morrison’s Café will be temporarily closed to the public to minimize traffic and exposure. Our date of reopening is to be determined. Thank you for your understanding!

Preventing COVID-19 Spread in Our Community

This CDC webpage gives specific action plans for various groups within our community:

  • At Home
  • At Work
  • At K-12 Schools and Childcare
  • At Colleges and Universities
  • For Community and Faith-based Organization
  • At Large Community Events and Mass Gatherings
  • For First Responders