May 12, 2020 

Protecting public health and revamping the economy are not mutually exclusive – in fact, they’re one and the same. 

That’s why the City of Chattanooga is committed to doing everything we can to help all business owners and employees transition back to work in the safest way possible. The City has partnered with the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce and local industry representatives on a set of webinars that will walk through appropriate and realistic guidelines for getting open — and staying open — safely. 

Over the last week, the City has hosted webinars about reopening various industry sectors such as restaurants, gyms, child care centers, retail, and barber shops. On Friday, May 15 at 1:00 p.m., we’ll host a special one for churches and houses of worship. You can register, find resources, or old webinars at cha.city/covidreopen

While we are happy to help support our local businesses during this time, it’s important to remember we are still very much in the middle of this pandemic. We cannot expect our economy to bounce back if residents are still concerned about their safety and well-being. That is why the expansion of community testing and contact tracing is so vital. 

There are several local organizations who are offering free COVID-19 testing:

  • The Hamilton County Health Department conducts free drive-thru testing on weekday mornings (9:00-10:30 a.m.) at 7460 Bonnyshire Drive. No appointment needed. 
  • Clinica Medicos offers free COVID-19 testing 7 days per week at their location. Appointment needed. 
    • Call (423) 760-4000 for more information and to schedule an appointment.
  • Beginning Wednesday, May 13, and continuing for the next two weeks, Cempa Community Care, in partnership with Alleo Health System, and LifeSpring Pediatrics will offer free walk up or drive-thru testing at their mobile clinic.
    • For questions and more information, please call 423-207-5831 or email info@cempa.org

The Chattanooga Housing Authority has partnered with the National Guard to offer onsite, voluntary COVID-19 testing to all of its residents. Late last week, Governor Lee decided to temporarily postpone testing at these sites while his office works to address some of the community’s concerns. Once we know more about when the COVID-19 testing will be rescheduled, we’ll help get the word out so Chattanooga Housing Authority residents can access this onsite testing opportunity. 

Confirmed COVID-19 cases are rising and as businesses begin to reopen we expect to see an increase in numbers. While we were fortunate to enforce and implement social distancing practices early on, which we believe helped keep our confirmed cases low, you are still responsible for keeping you and your family safe. 

Please remember:

  • Stay home if you can, especially if you are in a high risk category.
  • Wear a mask if you must be in public.
  • Maintain six feet of distance between you and other people.
  • Wash your hands and disinfect surfaces regularly.
  • Do not gather in large groups.