Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly on Wednesday ordered the temporary closure of the Washington Hills Community Center for deep cleaning and sanitization following confirmation of a COVID case at the facility.
Contact tracing efforts are underway, and summer camp will not resume. The Washington Hills community center will be reopened as soon as possible following deep cleaning, sanitization and quarantine protocols. The decision on when to reopen the community center will be made in consultation with Dr. Mary Lambert, the city’s director of community health.
“With the spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19 among unvaccinated individuals, it is more important than ever that our residents take every precaution to protect their family and loved ones from this dangerous virus,” said Dr. Lambert. “While vaccinated individuals have largely avoided infection, most of the deaths and long-term illness we’re seeing is among unvaccinated individuals.”
Parents and staff were notified on Wednesday afternoon and asked to take appropriate protective measures. Employees who have been vaccinated will be assigned to other locations during the closure. All city employees are also being offered a $100 incentive to get vaccinated, with a smaller incentive available for each vaccinated family member covered by City health insurance.
“We are working hard alongside our partners at the Hamilton County Health Department and the nonprofit community to make vaccinations easy and convenient to access for every resident,” said Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly. “But make no mistake, if we do not take appropriate steps to protect ourselves, our families and our friends from harm, and if this concerning spike in infections continues, we run a high risk that our city could once again face closure and lockdown.”
The city is currently offering free walk-in COVID-19 vaccinations at its Community Centers and at the Chattanooga Public Library. Free Covid-19 vaccines will be available on a walk-in basis in the Downtown Library Auditorium every Monday from 3-5:30 p.m. until Monday, Aug. 30.
Additionally, free Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination events will be offered at multiple locations this week through Hamilton County's Health Department. No appointment is necessary, and anyone 12 years of age and older is eligible. Visit vaccine.hamiltontn.gov and click on “Vaccine Calendar of Events” to see the most up-to-date COVID-19 vaccine calendar. To accelerate the vaccination process, print and complete the vaccine encounter form available on the website.
The COVID-19 Hotline is available to assist with COVID-19 vaccine inquiries Monday through Friday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. at 209-8383.
Local residents can conveniently access free, walk-in vaccine clinics (while supplies last) at the city’s community centers on the following dates:
July 21 — Heritage House from 3:30-5:30 p.m.
July 28 — Shepherd from 10 a.m.-noon
July 28 — Eastgate Senior Center from 3:30-5:30 p.m.
Aug. 4 — Carver from 10 a.m. to noon
Aug. 4 — Hixson (2nd shot) from 3:30-5:30 p.m.
Aug. 11 — Brainerd from 10 a.m. to noon
Aug. 11 — Westside (2nd shot) from 3:30-5:30 p.m.
Aug. 18 — South Chatt from 10 a.m. to noon
Aug. 18 — Tyner from 3:30-5:30 p.m.
Aug. 25 — John A Patten (2nd shot) from 10 a.m. to noon
Aug. 25 — Glenwood (2nd shot) from 3:30-5:30 p.m.