Booster dose approval, mass vaccination centers in District 2 to reopen

Community
booster doses

GAINESVILLE – Booster vaccine doses for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine have been approved for specific groups of fully vaccinated individuals.  Although the booster dose is not required, it will help fully vaccinated people maintain protection over the coming months.

It is important to note, COVID-19 vaccines are working well to prevent severe illness, hospitalization, and death, but with the introduction of the Delta variant, public health experts noticed a reduction of protections against mild and moderate disease.

Booster vaccine doses are approved for the following groups of people who received their second Pfizer vaccine at least 6 months ago:  Recommendations will only apply to individuals who received the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for their primary series

  • 65 years and older
  • Residents of long-term care facilities
  • 18 and older with underlying medical conditions that put a person at high-risk
  • 18 and older who have an occupational or institutional exposure risk

The approval is for the Pfizer vaccine ONLY.  Moderna and Johnson and Johnson (J&J) vaccines have not been approved for additional booster doses, right now there is not enough data to support a booster dose recommendation. Both Moderna and J&J are expected to submit data to the FDA in support of booster doses in the coming weeks.

District 2 Public Health and Northeast Georgia Health System want to provide the community an opportunity to be vaccinated with ease and remind the community it is important to get fully vaccinated to keep our communities safe and to stop the spread of COVID-19.  District 2 will re-open mass vaccination sites in most of its 13 counties as of September 27.

The following counties will begin administering all doses of the Pfizer vaccine and will have first dose Moderna and J&J vaccines available upon request on September 27:

All Health Departments will be vaccinating every other Saturday.  Hall and Forsyth health departments will be vaccinating every Saturday starting October 2.  Check with your local health department for Saturday hours and location.

  • Banks County – City of Homer Fire Department – 243 Sycamore St., Homer, GA 30547

Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and Tuesday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

  • Dawson County – Fire Station #2 – 8388 Hwy 53, Dawsonville, GA 30534

Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

  • Franklin County – Franklin Co. Recreation Department – 557 Rocky Ford Rd., Carnesville, GA 30531

Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

  • Forsyth County – Northside Forsyth Hospital – 1800 Northside Forsyth Dr. suite 360, Cumming, GA 30041

Monday – Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Saturday – 8:30 am to 12:00 pm (at the Forsyth Co. Health Department, October 2)

  • Habersham County – Cornelia First Presbyterian – 469 N. Main St. Cornelia GA, 30531

Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

  • Hall County – Chicopee Woods Agricultural Center – 1855 Calvary Church Rd., Gainesville, GA 30507

Monday – Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Saturday – 8:30am to 12:00pm (Starts on October 2)

  • Hart County – Flat Shoals Baptist Church – 2999 Bowersville Hwy, Bowersville, GA 30516

Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and Tuesday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

  • Towns County – Towns County Recreations Department – 150 Foster Park Rd. Hiawassee, GA 30512

Monday and Wednesday 1:00 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. and Tuesday 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

  • White County – The Bridge Church – 607 Hulsey Rd. Cleveland, GA 30528

Monday 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and Tuesday 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Lumpkin, Rabun, and Union Counties will continue offering COVID vaccines at the health departments until demand requires a move to a larger location.

Appointments are not required. If an individual prefers to schedule an appointment, they may do so using the VRAS scheduling system via the District 2 Public Health website.  Hours of operation and locations may change due to demand. Reference the schedule of locations and hours posted on the public health website to ensure the vaccine site in your county is operational.

For more information on the COVID-19 booster dose visit the CDC website to learn more.

COVID-19 vaccine moving off-site at some health department locations

Community, News
Labor Day vaccines health departments covid

GAINESVILLE – In anticipation of the upcoming flu season and to prepare for the approval of the COVID-19 booster dose for the general population, District 2 Health Departments will be re-opening some of its off-site COVID-19 mass vaccination sites.

Approval for the booster dose is still pending; however, starting Monday, September 20, Forsyth and Hall County will move to their designated off-site locations to begin administering Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines.  The district will not administer booster doses until approval and guidance is granted by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and FDA.

The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) will await recommendations from the CDC and ACIP before releasing a plan to administer booster doses of Pfizer COVID vaccine in Georgia. The FDA’s discussion and review of data about the need for COVID vaccine boosters is a first step in the process; the same questions will be considered by ACIP during meetings currently scheduled for Sept. 22-23. When CDC/ACIP provide recommendations and guidelines for booster shots, DPH has the inventory to quickly ramp up access to Pfizer COVID vaccine statewide.

“We anticipate an increase in traffic in our health departments with the administration of both the COVID booster dose and flu vaccine,” said Dr. Zachary Taylor, District 2 Public Health Director. “By moving our COVID-19 operation off-site, we will alleviate the influx of people inside our waiting rooms.”

Forsyth County Health Department will operate its COVID-19 mass vaccination site at Northside Forsyth Hospital, Suite 360, located at 1200 Northside Forsyth Dr. Cumming, GA 30041.

Hall County will operate its mass vaccine site from the Chicopee Woods Agricultural Center, located at 1855 Calvary Church Rd., Gainesville, GA 30507.

The hours of operation for both sites are Monday through Friday 8:30 am to 4:30 pm and Saturday 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Appointments are not required. If an individual prefers to schedule an appointment, they may do so using the VRAS scheduling system via the District 2 Public Health website.  Hours of operation and locations may change due to demand. Reference the schedule of locations and hours posted on the public health website to ensure the vaccine site in your county is operational.

For more information on the COVID-19 booster dose visit the CDC website to learn more.

Hall County Health Department providing vaccines on Labor Day

News, Press Release
Labor Day vaccines

HALL COUNTY – Labor Day weekend will look a little different this year due to an increased need to be vaccinated due to the Delta surge.  Hall County Health Department will be working on Labor Day to vaccinate the community.

On Friday, September 3, Governor Kemp is providing paid time off for state employees to receive their COVID-19 vaccines.  For this reason, District 2 Public Health Departments will remain open from 8:00 am until 12:00 pm to vaccinate all state employees and the public.

On Monday, September 6, Hall County Health Department will be providing COVID-19 vaccinations and gas gift cards in the amount of fifty dollars for the first 100 Georgia residents, 18 years and older, that wish to receive their vaccine.  The health department will be vaccinating from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm. They will be closed for lunch from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm.

As Labor Day approaches, it is as important as ever to avoid crowds, wear a mask, wash your hands, and watch your distance. If you have not gotten a COVID-19 vaccine this is the weekend to get vaccinated.

To find more information regarding COVID-19 for your county, please visit phdistrict2.org.

District Two Cases by County

Banks

Cases (last 2 weeks): 137

Cases Per 100k (last 2 weeks):  686

Positive PCR Tests (last 2 weeks): 20.4%

Vaccines Administered:  9, 788

One Dose:  5,452(29% of residents)

Fully:  4,626 (25% of residents

Deaths (Duration of COVID):  44

Overall Hospitalizations  (March 2020-Aug 31) :  234

 

Dawson

Cases (last 2 weeks): 375

Cases (last 2 weeks) Per 100k: 1388

Positive PCR Tests (last 2 weeks):  23.1%

Vaccines Administered:  17,662

One Dose:  9, 596 (39% of residents)

Fully:  8,423 (34% of residents)

Deaths (Duration of COVID):  49

Overall Hospitalizations  (March 2020-Aug 31) :  276

 

Forsyth

Cases (last 2 weeks): 1,918

Cases (last 2 weeks) Per 100k: 760

Positive PCR Tests (last 2 weeks):  17.6%

Vaccines Administered:  236,504

One Dose:  125,601 (55% of residents)

Fully:  113,488 (50% of residents)

Deaths (Duration of COVID):  206

Overall Hospitalizations  (March 2020-Aug 30) :  1,096

 

Franklin

Cases (last 2 weeks): 162

Cases (last 2 weeks) Per 100k: 694

Positive PCR Tests (last 2 weeks):  20.8%

Vaccines Administered:  14,552

One Dose:  8,086 (36% of residents)

Fully:  6,916 (30% of residents)

Deaths (Duration of COVID):  50

Overall Hospitalizations  (March 2020-Aug 30) :  190

 

Habersham

Cases (last 2 weeks): 300

Cases (last 2 weeks) Per 100k: 655

Positive PCR Tests (last 2 weeks):  19.0%

Vaccines Administered:  31,352

One Dose:  17,448 (39% of residents)

Fully:  14,869 (33% of residents)

Deaths (Duration of COVID):  160

Overall Hospitalizations  (March 2020-Aug 30) :  528

 

Hall

Cases (last 2 weeks): 1555

Cases (last 2 weeks) Per 100k: 754

Positive PCR Tests (last 2 weeks):  18.3%

Vaccines Administered:  160,642

One Dose:  87,756 (44% of residents)

Fully:  76,519 (39% of residents)

Deaths (Duration of COVID):  487

Overall Hospitalizations:  2,742

 

Hart

Cases (last 2 weeks): 126

Cases (last 2 weeks) Per 100k: 483

Positive PCR Tests (last 2 weeks):  18.1%

Vaccines Administered:  17,449

One Dose:  9,502 (37% of residents)

Fully:  8,314 (32% of residents)

Deaths (Duration of COVID):  40

Overall Hospitalizations (March 2020 -August 2021):  142

 

Lumpkin

Cases (last 2 weeks): 370

Cases (last 2 weeks) Per 100k: 1,095

Positive PCR Tests (last 2 weeks):  18.1%

Vaccines Administered:  20,990

One Dose:  11439 (35% of residents)

Fully:  10,011 (31% of residents)

Deaths (Duration of COVID):  73

Overall Hospitalizations (March 2020 -August 2021):  353

 

Rabun

Cases (last 2 weeks): 63

Cases (last 2 weeks) Per 100k: 371

Positive PCR Tests (last 2 weeks):  14.9%

Vaccines Administered:  14,613

One Dose:  7,750 (47% of residents)

Fully:  6,906 (41% of residents)

Deaths (Duration of COVID):  45

Overall Hospitalizations (March 2020 -August 2021):  174

 

Stephens

Cases (last 2 weeks): 253

Cases (last 2 weeks) Per 100k: 961

Positive PCR Tests (last 2 weeks):  27.8%

Vaccines Administered:  18,592

One Dose:  10,099 (39% of residents)

Fully:  8,687 (34% of residents)

Deaths (Duration of COVID):  80

Overall Hospitalizations (March 2020 -August 2021):  280

 

Towns

Cases (last 2 weeks): 103

Cases (last 2 weeks) Per 100k: 856

Positive PCR Tests (last 2 weeks):  26.2%

Vaccines Administered: 11,159

One Dose:  5,883 (51% of residents)

Fully:  5,343 (46% of residents)

Deaths (Duration of COVID):  52

Overall Hospitalizations (March 2020 -August 2021):  167

 

Union

Cases (last 2 weeks): 253

Cases (last 2 weeks) Per 100k: 999

Positive PCR Tests (last 2 weeks):  33.6%

Vaccines Administered:  20, 586

One Dose:  11,011 (47% of residents)

Fully:  9,962 (43% of residents)

Deaths (Duration of COVID):  83

Overall Hospitalizations (March 2020 -August 2021):  274

 

White

Cases (last 2 weeks): 339

Cases (last 2 weeks) Per 100k: 1,067

Positive PCR Tests (last 2 weeks):  24.5%

Vaccines Administered:  19,565

One Dose:  10,640 (36% of residents)

Fully:  9,334 (32% of residents)

Deaths (Duration of COVID):  76

Overall Hospitalizations (March 2020 -August 2021):  343

Health department announces changes COVID-19 vaccination schedule changes

News, Press Release
health department vaccination event

GAINESVILLE – Several District 2 Public Health Departments are adjusting their Covid-19 vaccination schedules. This will allow the county health departments to continue vaccinations and expand hours for other health department services.

Changes to vaccination schedules – start date, location, and days for vaccination:

Union County

Will move to the health department, 67 Chase Dr., Blairsville, on April 26. This week vaccinations will be available Monday to Friday. However, beginning on May 4, vaccinations will be available on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday only. Walk-ins will be accepted from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. The clinic will close for lunch from 12:30 pm to 1:00 pm.

Towns County

Moved back to the health department, 1104 Jack Dayton Cir., Hiawassee on April 19. Vaccination are being administered on Wednesday only. Walk-ins will be accepted from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. The clinic will close for lunch from 12:30 pm to 1:00 pm.

Banks County

Will remain at Grove Level Church, 1702 Grove Level Rd, Maysville. However, beginning May 10, the clinic will only operate on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. Walk-in will be accepted from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. The clinic will close from 12:30 pm to 1:00 pm for lunch.

Franklin County

Will remain at the Franklin County Recreation Center, 557 Rocky Ford Rd., Carnesville. Beginning May 3, the clinic will only operate on Monday and Tuesday. Walk-ins will be accepted from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. The clinic will close for lunch from 12:30 pm to 1:00 pm.

Habersham County

Will remain at Ruby Fulbright Center, 120 Paul Franklin Rd, Clarkesville through May 7. Beginning May 3, the clinic will operate only on Monday and Thursday. Then, on May 10, the clinic will move back to the health department at 185 Scoggins Dr., Demorest. After the move to the health department, the clinic will operate on Wednesday only. Walk-ins will be accepted from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. The clinic will close for lunch from 12:30 pm to 1:00 pm.

Hart County

Will remain at Flat Shoals Church, 2999 Bowersville Hwy, Bowersville. Beginning May 3, the clinic will operate only on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. Walk-ins will be accepted from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. on Tuesday and Thursday and on Friday from 9:00 am to 10:00 am. The clinic will close for lunch from 12:30 pm to 1:00 pm. On Friday, the clinic will close at 12:00 pm.

Rabun County

Moved back to the health department (upper level), 184 S. Main St., Clayton on April 19. Vaccinations are available on Tuesday and Thursday. Walk-ins will be accepted from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. The clinic will close for lunch from 12:30 pm to 1:00 pm.

Stephens County

Stephens County will continue at St. Matthias Church, 995 E. Tugalo St., Toccoa. Beginning May 3, vaccination will be available on Tuesday and Thursday only. Walk-ins will be accepted from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. The clinic will close for lunch from 12:30 pm to 1:00 pm.

White County

Will move back to the health department, 1331 Helen Hwy, Cleveland, on May 3. Vaccinations will then be available on Tuesday only. Walk-ins will be accepted from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. The clinic will close for lunch from 12:30 pm to 1:00 pm.

Appointments are still recommended and can be made by calling 1-888-426-5073 or online at https://gta-vras.powerappsportals.us

No Change to vaccination schedules:

Dawson County         Veteran’s Park, 186 Recreation Drive, Dawsonville          Monday – Friday

Forsyth County          Cumming Fairground, 235 Castleberry Rd, Cumming       Monday – Friday

Hall County                UNG – Gainesville, 3280 Mundy Mill Rd., Oakwood           Monday – Friday

Lumpkin County        Senior Center, 266 Mechanicsville Rd., Dahlonega Monday – Friday

 

 

White County, Health Department will host COVID vaccine clinic in Tesnatee Gap Elementary School Gym Saturday

Press Release

David Murphy

WHITE COUNTY, Ga. — White County Emergency Management and the Department of Public Health will hold a COVID-19 vaccine clinic Saturday (April 17) at the Tesnatee Gap Elementary School Gymnasium from 9 am unti 2 pm.

White County Emergency Management Director David Murphy said White County residents 18 years of age or older can receive the vaccination and that appointments are preferred but walk-ins will be accepted.
For more information, call 1-888-426-5073.

District 2 Health Department outlines how to register for the COVID-19 vaccine

Community, News
Vaccine District 2

GAINESVILLE, Ga – Public Health Department District 2 provided instructions for those who are now eligible to sign up to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Last week, Governor Brian Kemp and DPH Director Kathleen Toomey added adults aged 65 and older, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and first responders to the current group of individuals eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccination in Phase 1-A.

Sign up online at www.phdistrict2.org

To provide the vaccine in a safe environment, they ask everyone to follow these steps.

  1. Vaccines are for residents who live or work in the counties that comprise District 2
  2. Vaccines will be given by appointment ONLY – Walk-ins will not be accepted
  3. They will limit the number of people in enclosed spaces by observing recommended social distances to prevent the spread of illness
  4. Come to the appointment as close to the allotted time as possible to reduce the number of people in the waiting area (patients may be asked to wait outside or in their car if  too early)
  5. If patients have insurance, please bring your card. Insurance will help pay to offset the cost of administering the vaccine.
  6. There will be no cost to anyone to get vaccinated.
  7. People should plan to remain for post-vaccination observation for up to 30-minutes
  8. Prior to vaccination, a review of product-specific safety information and consent will be required
  9. Both Moderna and Pfizer vaccine require two-doses – appointments are required for both doses
  10. Please understand patients will receive the vaccine that is available (Pfizer or Moderna)

A call center number will be available on Monday, January 11 for those who do not have access to online registration.

District 2 serves Banks, Dawson, Forsyth, Franklin, Habersham, Hall, Habersham, Lumpkin, Rabun, Stephens, Towns, Union, and White.

Residents of these counties can register for the vaccine from District 2.

Image courtesy of Lisa Ferdinando from the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

 

District 2 announces changes in specimen collection sites

Community, Health
testing guidelines specimen collection

GAINESVILLE, GA – District 2 Public Health announces updates to schedules, testing criteria and specimen collection sites. Previous testing criteria was to test individuals with fever, cough and shortness of breath. Due to new testing criteria from Georgia Department of Public Health District 2 anyone with or without symptoms can now be tested for Covid-19.

The Specimen Point of Collection (SPOC) in Hall County will now operate as follows:

Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 5:00 pm. The Hall County SPOC is closed on Saturday and Sunday.

A Specimen Point of Collection (SPOC) will be opened at Habersham County Health Department. This site will be open Saturday from 8:30 am to 3:00 pm, and Sunday from 8:30 am to 12:00 pm. The Habersham site will begin operations on Saturday, May 16.

For convenience, we urge residents to call their local health department or the call center to schedule a time to get tested. With an appointment, the average time to get through the SPOC is three to five minutes. All county health departments will continue to schedule appointments during normal business hours, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday. The call center hours are: 8:30 am to 7:00 pm, every day including Saturday and Sunday.

Specimen Collection sites in Franklin and Towns Counties will continue to operate on Tuesday and Friday of each week. Residents can contact the call center above, or call Franklin County Health Department at 706-384-5575, or call Hart County Health Department at 706-376-5117 to schedule testing at the Franklin County Health Department. To schedule testing at the Towns County Health Department, residents can call Towns County Health Department at 706-896-2265, Union County Health Department at 706-745-6292 or Rabun County Health Department at 706-212-0289.

Remember, for your convenience an appointment is needed at each of the Specimen Point of Collection. Please call the call center 770-531-5600 or your local health department to schedule an appointment for testing.

DPH Release – Expanded Testing For COVID-19 In Georgia

Featured, Health

Revised Testing Criteria and Increased Number of Test Sites

Atlanta – The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) is increasing the number of specimen
collection sites statewide for COVID-19 testing, and is revising the current testing criteria to
accommodate more testing of Georgia residents.

Effective immediately, all symptomatic individuals will be eligible for COVID-19 testing. Health
care workers, first responders, law enforcement and long-term care facility residents and staff will
still be prioritized for testing regardless of whether they are or are not symptomatic.
Referrals are still required, however, there are now two ways to be referred to a DPH specimen
collection site:

Local Health Department –
Individuals who meet COVID-19 testing criteria may now be referred to DPH specimen collection
sites by contacting their local health department. They will be screened by appropriate health
department staff and referred to the closest, most convenient specimen collection site.

Contact information for local health departments can be found on the DPH homepage, under COVID-19 in Georgia.

Health Care Provider Referral –
Health care providers and/or physicians can and should continue to refer patients for COVID-19
testing.

People should not arrive unannounced or without a scheduled appointment at a specimen
collection site, hospital, emergency room or other health care facility. Only individuals who have
been evaluated by public health or a health care provider and assigned a PUI # number will
be referred to these drive-thru sites.

Together we can stop further spread of COVID-19 in our state and save lives.

Stay home – the Governor has issued a shelter-in-place Executive Order that should be observed
by all residents and visitors.

Practice social distancing – keep at least 6 feet between yourself and other people.

Wash your hands – use soap and water and scrub for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based
hand sanitizer (60% alcohol) if soap and water aren’t readily available.
Wear a mask – the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend the use of face
masks to help slow the spread of COVID-19, especially where socials distancing is difficult to
maintain (grocery stores, pharmacies, etc.), and especially in areas of significant community-
based transmission.

For more information about COVID-19 Click here or
Click Here.

For updates on the COVID-19 situation as it develops, follow @GaDPH, @GeorgiaEMA, and
@GovKemp on Twitter and @GaDPH, @GEMA.OHS, and @GovKemp on Facebook.

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