Beginning today, Saturday, March 14, 2020, public access and activities have been suspended indefinitely at all Chattanooga Youth and Family Development Centers, all branches of the Chattanooga Public Library, and the Eastgate Senior Center. Ensuring that our young people continue to receive regular meals is a top priority, and Hamilton County Schools has arranged food pick-up points at schools and other locations throughout the community; their food pickup plan can be viewed here.
The City has also indefinitely suspended the approval of permits for public gatherings and are taking the steps to cancel all currently planned City-sponsored events.
City Hall and the Development Resource Center will remain open at this time during regular operating hours of Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. However, you may notice longer wait periods for in-person services as City of Chattanooga employees are implementing social distancing practices and teams are telecommuting. Please keep in mind that many City services can be accessed online at chattanooga.gov.
CARTA is taking additional steps to clean and disinfect its buses more frequently and has made additional hand sanitizer and disinfectant available to its drivers, staff, and passengers. There are no interruptions to CARTA service presently and buses are running on their normal schedules.
These efforts are being done as the CDC suggests avoiding crowds as a way to help slow or stop the spread of COVID-19. The City will use a variety of communications methods to keep City staff and the community informed and will evaluate on a weekly basis how to reallocate staff in the most efficient way possible and monitor the situation as it may pertain to the operations of public facilities.
Nothing slows the spread of COVID-19 as effectively as social distancing, as frustrating as it may be. While these decisions are not made easily, and we know how frustrating they will be for many citizens, we have a responsibility to act in the best interests of everyone’s health and safety. The safety and health of the Chattanooga community and its employees are the City’s top priority and we appreciate everyone’s patience during this time.
On Friday, March 13, the Tennessee Department of Health confirmed the first positive case of COVID-19/novel coronavirus in Hamilton County, the State provides daily testing updates at https://www.tn.gov/health/cedep/ncov.html.