November 5, 2020
As Chattanoogans are continuing to navigate everyday life amid the COVID pandemic, we’ve seen measures like social distancing and masking help slow the spread of the virus.
Even though there is still quite a bit we don’t understand about this virus, it’s important that residents and businesses be empowered with current and factual data so that we can make the right calls on city facilities and events and you can make the right decisions for your family’s health.
The City of Chattanooga has created a page specifically dedicated to data -- cha.city/coviddata -- that pulls together and shares a lot of what we know and what we’re learning about COVID-19 in our community.
This site includes resources that show how daily positive cases, active cases, hospitalizations, deaths, and other crucial data sets have changed since mid-March. This data is useful in helping us determine when and how we can eventually reopen our facilities -- including our YFD Centers -- as well as allow larger public gatherings.
You can also find information about our symptom survey on the website, which helps us learn more about the disease in real time, as well as reports from our partnership with Biobot Analytics, which examines sewage from our wastewater treatment facilities to estimate the prevalence of COVID-19 in our community.
Beginning Monday, November 9 several City of Chattanooga facilities will suspend access to the public.
The Chattanooga area is experiencing another spike in COVID-19 cases and the City of Chattanooga is taking additional steps to reduce person-to-person contact in order to protect residents and employees. The City will be suspending public access to City Hall, City Annex, and the city services at the Development Resource Center (DRC), and the Chattanooga Public Library branches. Curbside service will continue at the library branches, to see which branches are operating curbside service please visit chattlibrary.org or call 643-7700.
The City’s Youth and Family Development Centers remain closed to the public at this time. However, the centers that are operating as Virtual Learning Centers (Avondale, Brainerd, Hixson, John A. Patton and South Chatt) for those enrolled in HCS At Home. To learn more about the program and enroll your students visit cha.city/virtuallearning.
Additionally, several YFD Centers and the City Hall Annex are holding office hours for those who need help applying for the Senior Tax Freeze. To see if you or a member of your family qualifies for a tax freeze program and to schedule an appointment visit cha.city/seniortaxfreeze.
As the City continues to promote and implement social distancing practices, including requiring essential and non-essential staff to work remotely, we encourage Chattanoogans to do the same by utilizing many of our services online or via the phone. This means submitting payments to the Treasury Department online or over the phone, or making an open records request with the City Attorney, or submitting a 311 request.
A comprehensive list of services available online can be found at cha.city/cityclosures.
The impacts of COVID-19 have disrupted the lives and livelihoods of many Chattanoogans. Some may have lost or had their wages decreased, businesses are faced with hard decisions due to decreased revenues, and residents aren’t able to spend money to bolster our local economy.
The City and many local partners have resources available to Chattanooga residents that can help provide relief for rent, utilities, and small businesses. For a full list of resources visit cha.city/covidresources.
- Rent: The City of Chattanooga, Tennessee Department of Human Services, and Chattanooga Neighborhood Enterprise have resources to help residents directly impacted by COVID-19 cover their rent payments.
- Utilities: The Tennessee Public Utilities Commission has directed local utility companies to begin collections again. That means you will be hearing from our water, gas, sewer, and electric companies very soon and your service may get disconnected if you are behind on your payment. Many companies are willing to work with you on pay plans to prevent shut-offs, so please ask them about that if they contact you. If you need assistance paying your bills, we have money to help through our Office of Family Empowerment (OFE).
- To request an application, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- To speak with an OFE staff person, contact the main office at: 423 643 6434.
- Businesses: The Chattanooga Area Small Business Coalition built a dashboard for business owners with different resources and supports to handle the impact COVID may have had on their business. The Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce has a list of resources for employers and employees.
VIRTUAL LEARNING CENTERS:
We know that not every family has the option of keeping their students at home, even if they have real misgivings about sending them fully back to school right now. We wanted to help HCS provide solutions for families, so several of the City’s Youth and Family Development Centers are now operating as Virtual Learning Centers to provide additional remote learning support for these families and students during this time.
The Virtual Learning Centers are for kindergarten through 8th Grade students enrolled through HCS At Home. The City’s program launched last week at five YFD Centers - Avondale, Brainerd, Hixson, John A. Patten, and South Chatt.
These centers provide small learning groups of 10 students per classroom with a total of 40 students per center. Each classroom is proctored by YFD Staff to help troubleshoot tech issues, ensure students get into their virtual class meetings, and above all, stay safe while we’re navigating this unusual learning environment.
Families must register in advance and spaces are limited so please sign up ASAP. You can sign up online at cha.city/virtuallearning or in person at either the Brainerd YFD Center (1010 North Moore Rd.) or the YFD Administration Office (1102 S. Watkins Street).
Reminder that if you or a family or friend are feeling sick and showing symptoms of COVID-19 there are lots of free testing opportunities throughout the community. You can find those at cha.city/covidtesting.
Residents can request free transportation to the Hamilton County Health Department testing site at Alstom by calling (423) 209-8383 for details.
City of Chattanooga
Office of Mayor Andy Berke