Coastal Health District gives update on COVID-19 to Chatham Co. Commission

Coastal Health District gives update on COVID-19 to Chatham Co. Commission

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Cases of COVID-19, positive tests and Community transmission rate remain in the red zone this week as Chatham County faces a post-holiday surge.

“We have just about equaled our peak from the summer, but if you look Georgia’s chart in the yellow line on the second graph, Georgia as a whole is far exceeded the summertime surge,” said Director of the Coastal Health District, Dr. Lawton Davis.

With the community transmission rates high the topic dominating conversation was the vaccine rollout here in Chatham County.

“Constituents over 65 called me frustrated about not being able to call through on the telephone line to get an appointment,” said District 4 Commissioner Patrick Farrell.

Dr. Lawton Davis says right now their appointment schedule is paused. Partly because the phone line was overwhelmed, leaving about 1,200 people on the waitlist.

Current reservations go well into March. The county helped by creating an additional phone bank, but the health district is looking to make their own online scheduling system since the state’s version is delayed.

“We don’t control that, that’s been in the works for months and I was told yesterday that it’s been pushed back again because the software is not robust enough to handle the anticipated volume ‚but we think we may have found the one we think we can make work for Chatham County Health Department and so it won’t be online tomorrow but it will be online fairly soon if everything works out,” said Dr. Davis.

Dr. Davis says so far Chatham County has given about 6,000 shots, more than 920 of those Thursday alone. He says other area health departments have given another 4,000 shots and the district has distributed about 4,500 doses to area partners to help.

Dr. Davis says those partners will be key in addressing the huge demand. In the meantime, Chatham County Commission Chairman Chester Ellis says we must double down on preventing further spread.

“But less us be patient and we can get through this, but in the meantime I want to emphasize this and Dr. Davis can kick in if you can, in the meantime, wear your masks, stay your distance and wash your hands frequently that’s how we can help each other,” said Chairman Ellis.

Dr. Davis says while they work though these challenges, they are in the early planning process to making the vaccine available to others in the next phase.

Copyright 2021 WTOC. All rights reserved.