Today, Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke made the difficult but necessary decision to indefinitely close dining service in restaurants and bars across Chattanooga. Gyms and fitness centers in the city limits will be closed as well.
“As you have seen, the threat posed by the coronavirus grows more serious with every passing day. The guidance we have received from the CDC and the White House dictates in no uncertain terms that any public gathering of almost any size may be hazardous,” Mayor Berke said. “Every piece of available data we have says very clearly that social distancing is the only way to slow the spread. We’re making a lot of painful choices to keep Chattanoogans healthy and make sure that our local hospital systems do not become completely overwhelmed.”
This was done via Executive Order 2020-02, which gives Mayor Berke the authority to direct the closure of occupancy service at food and beverage establishments and fitness businesses in the City of Chattanooga. This action is legally permitted under TCA 38-9-104 (9), per the emergency declaration powers granted to the Mayor under the provisions of TCA 58-8-104.
While this suspends dine-in service, there are a variety of ways the Chattanooga community can support the many bartenders, servers, cooks, janitors, and other hourly wage workers who rely on these jobs to make ends meet. Buy a gift card. Order take out. Send your favorite server or bartender a tip.
- City of Chattanooga’s Office of Economic Development
- United Way’s COVID-19 Relief and Response
While this is a difficult and uncertain time for many in Chattanooga, the only way to get on the other side of this to take drastic measures that will help slow and eventually stop the spread of COVID-19 in our community.
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.