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A letter from Effingham Health System CEO
Dr. Fran Witt
Dr. Fran Witt - photo by Mark Lastinger/staff


(844) 442-2681

The Georgia Department of Public Health has established a web page and phone hotline to answer your questions about the Coronavirus.

Click for Statewide  COVID-19 Information:

Click for Local COVID-19 FAQ (Georgia Dept. of Public Health, Coastal Health District)

From Dr. Fran Witt:

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