CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – Today, Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke signed Executive Order 2020-04, which mandates additional steps to limit community exposure to the virus and protect workers.
Effective at midnight on March 25, 2020, the following businesses will be required to close:
• Indoor areas of shopping malls and all retail stores
• Salons, beauty shops, and barbershops
• Massage parlors, spas, tanning salons, and tattoo parlors
For those workplaces that do remain open, all workers should have their temperatures checked by their employers upon entering and exiting their place of business. Employees who are feverish should be immediately sent home to self-quarantine and seek medical care.
Additionally, all public gatherings of any size are to be suspended until further notice, including worship services, funerals, festivals, fairs, and public performances. City parks are still open but public access has been suspended at City playgrounds, basketball courts, baseball fields, soccer fields, the Chattanooga Skate Park, and the hockey rink for now.
“I know this is a frustrating and strange time for all of us. Chattanooga prides itself on its sociability and love of community. This is really tough, but knowing how quickly this vicious disease can spread — even by individuals who show no symptoms — we have to ask for your patience and sacrifice at this time,” Mayor Berke said. “Other cities who have failed to do this have seen their emergency rooms and intensive care units completely overwhelmed for weeks on end, and we desperately want to avoid that here.”
Today’s executive order follows similar “Safer At Home” orders provided by the mayors of Nashville, Memphis, and Knoxville.
“As the city receives more guidance from the Tennessee Department of Health and CDC, we may have to take even more actions,” Mayor Berke added. “This is a public health crisis without precedent in our country, and we anticipate that it will take some time before it is fully under control. The sooner and more seriously we commit ourselves to social distancing and remaining in our homes, the sooner we can get through it.”
On Friday, March 20 Mayor Berke signed Executive Order 2020-03, which provides the mayor with additional emergency management powers during a period of civil emergency, particularly related to obtaining equipment, materials, and supplies for emergency response purposes.