All Chattanooga Community Centers To Remain Closed Indefinitely Due To COVID Resurgence

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly has ordered the closure of all community centers at the conclusion of summer camp on Friday. While community centers are always closed for a week of deep cleaning following summer camp, Mayor Kelly ordered that they remain closed indefinitely due to spiking COVID-19 infections among unvaccinated Chattanoogans.

All community centers will remain closed following their Summer Camp cleaning protocols until the city’s vaccination rate reaches 70 percent, or until the outbreak reverses trend and declines. 

Mayor Kelly said, "The resurgence of COVID in our community is affecting young and old, rich and poor, and people of every color.

It does not discriminate, except in one respect - this is an outbreak among the unvaccinated. 

"While we have seen a small handful of breakthrough infections in vaccinated residents, their symptoms are brief and mild whereas infections in unvaccinated individuals can result in severe illness, hospitalization, long-term symptoms, and even death. The only way to prevent harm to yourself is to get vaccinated.

"It is for this reason that I am in the unfortunate position of having to order all of our community centers to remain closed following Summer Camp. They will remain so until our community vaccination rate reaches 70 percent, or until this current outbreak reverses trend and begins to decline.”

Mayor Kelly’s announcement followed the closures of the Carver, East Chattanooga, Washington Hills and Frances B. Wyatt community centers over a four-day period, which were all closed due to confirmed COVID-19 cases.

Summer camps will continue through Friday at community centers that remain open. Parks, pools and outdoor spaces will remain open for the present, though they could be subject to closure if the current outbreak continues to worsen.

The decision on when to reopen the closed community centers will be made in consultation with Dr. Mary Lambert, the city’s director of community health.

The exception to this closure is for vaccination events held in community centers. The community centers will be opened only for the vaccination event and then closed again afterward.

Tyner, Brainerd and Shepherd Hills will open temporarily on Tuesday, Aug. 3, because of the District 29 election, but will be immediately closed thereafter.

“New variants of the COVID-19 virus are making younger people sicker, up to and including serious critical illness, long-term health problems, and death, as well as spreading more quickly than before,” said Dr. Lambert. “We have now closed four community centers due to outbreaks of this virus, and the only way to prevent the situation from growing worse is to get vaccinated and protect yourself. Please don’t gamble with your health.”

Residents may find the most convenient location to get vaccinated at vaccines.gov. There are a number of opportunities for Chattanooga residents to get vaccinated:

  • The city’s incentive program for employees remains in effect, and all city employees are being offered $100 to get vaccinated, with a smaller incentive available for each vaccinated family member covered by City health insurance.

  • Vaccines are available through Hamilton County - Simply 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. to 4 p.m. at 423-209-8383.

  • Free Covid-19 vaccines will be available on a walk-in basis in the Downtown Library Auditorium every Monday from 3 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. until Monday, August 30, 2021.

  • Though the centers will be closed for all other activities, the city will continue to offer free walk-in COVID-19 vaccinations for all residents at its Community Centers [see list below]

Neighborhood residents can conveniently access free, walk-in vaccine clinics (while supplies last) at the City’s community centers on the following dates:

  • July 28 — Shepherd from 10 a.m. to noon

  • July 28 — Eastgate Senior Center from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

  • August 4 — Carver from 10 a.m. to noon Rescheduled, TBA

  • August 4 — Hixson (2nd shot) from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

  • August 11 — Brainerd from 10 a.m. to noon

  • August 11 — Westside (2nd shot) from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

  • August 18 — South Chatt from 10 a.m. to noon

  • August 18 — Tyner from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

  • August 25 — John A Patten (2nd shot) from 10 a.m. to noon

  • August 25 — Glenwood (2nd shot) from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.


Police Blotter: Doller General Shoplifter Returns; Landlord Visits Tenants At 2 A.M.

PHOTOS: Baylor Defeats Ooltewah, 51-0

2 Fugitives Arrested Friday Afternoon On Shallowford Road


A shoplifting was reported at the Dollar General, 2303 E. 23rd St. Police spoke with the store manager, who said an unknown black female had run out of the store with a trash bag full of items ... (click for more)

Detectives with the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office Fugitive Division went to 6220 Shallowford Road on Friday at 2:45 p.m. to attempt to locate and arrest fugitives Shawn Cranfield, 42, and ... (click for more)



Breaking News

Police Blotter: Doller General Shoplifter Returns; Landlord Visits Tenants At 2 A.M.

A shoplifting was reported at the Dollar General, 2303 E. 23rd St. Police spoke with the store manager, who said an unknown black female had run out of the store with a trash bag full of items without paying. The woman then fled in a white four-door sedan with a drive out tag. The manager estimated the value of items taken around $200. While working on the report at a separate location, ... (click for more)

PHOTOS: Baylor Defeats Ooltewah, 51-0

Opinion

Why Is All The New Building Not Saving Us From A 40-Cent City Property Tax Increase? - And Response

With the number of homes, apartments and condos built downtown, why is a 40 percent property tax increase necessary? Are these new structures on the paying property tax role? I need to know what’s going on downtown and why isn’t that money benefiting the city? Georgia Vaughn * * * The answer is that tax exemptions for these projects have been given out freely and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Degradation Of Nurses

Debbie Moore-Black, is a registered nurse whose blogs regularly appear on the medical news website, KevinMD.com. With the unearthly demands of COVID and historic lack of concern for the nursing populace, she wrote this week on the degradation and the devaluation of the nation’s nursing force. Perhaps we should all listen: * * * TIME WILL TELL IF LESSONS WILL BE LEARNED ... (click for more)

Sports

Game Notes: Tennessee At Florida

Tennessee hits the road for the first time this season with a showdown against SEC East rival Florida in primetime on Saturday night in Gainesville. The Vols are coming off a 56-0 shutout of Tennessee Tech last weekend and will look to carry that momentum into Saturday as they look to spring the upset against the 11th-ranked Gators. BROADCAST INFO Saturday's game will be ... (click for more)

Covenant Women, Men Win Maryville Invitational

The Covenant cross country teams dominated the course at the Maryville Invitational Friday afternoon. The women came in first of five with 22 points in their 6k race, while the men were also first of five in their 8k race with 26 points. The women had three runners in the top five. Claire Mackes continued her stellar performance, coming in first place overall with her ... (click for more)