Mayor Tim Kelly Lifts Some Mask Restrictions

Kelly removes mask mandate for vaccinated residents in most situations and locations,

in line with this week’s changes to CDC guidelines; plans to reopen Warner Park pool



Chattanooga, Tenn. (May 14, 2021) — In line with new Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidance, Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly on Friday lifted mask restrictions for fully vaccinated residents in city buildings in most common situations and locations.

Per new CDC guidance, fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask or physically distance in most settings, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance. The new executive order brings city restrictions and recommendations in line with CDC guidance.

Some restrictions remain in place

A few guidelines and recommendations remain in place for fully-vaccinated individuals:

  • All residents will still need to follow guidance at their workplace and at local businesses, which as private entities have the right to set their own guidelines.
  • The CDC still recommends passengers to wear a mask on public transportation and within transportation hubs, and federal rules still require mask and social-distancing precautions in airports and on commercial flights.
  • The CDC still recommends that residents cover their faces and practice social distancing at the doctor, in a hospital and in long-term care facilities such as a nursing home. Those rules also apply in prisons, jails or homeless shelters.
  • Residents are advised to be mindful of symptoms of COVID-19, especially if they have been around someone who is sick. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should get tested and stay home and away from others.
  • People who have a condition or are taking medications that weaken the immune system should talk to their healthcare provider to discuss their activities. They may need to keep taking all precautions to prevent COVID-19.
  • Residents should continue to keep masks on their person in case they wish to frequent a business or location that requires them.

Studies support vaccine efficacy

In the months since vaccines began to be made available to the public, three separate scientific studies — one in Israel and two in the United States — have shown that vaccines work to reduce the spread of COVID-19, with one studying showing that vaccines reduce the chance of symptomatic infection by 97 percent.

“I would encourage everyone who is medically able to do so to take advantage of the many opportunities in our city to get vaccinated, whether at the Tennessee Riverpark vaccination site or at a local pharmacy like a CVS, a Walgreens or a Publix,” Kelly said. “Chattanoogans have always been able to accomplish great things when we work together. Let’s put this pandemic behind us by getting fully vaccinated.”

Most vaccination locations are now taking walk-ins. allows residents to find the most convenient location closest to them with real-time availability.

Additional city services to be made available

The Kelly administration will continue to evaluate making more city services available in line with applicable vaccination and infection rates.

  • Warner Park Pool is currently planned to open at 75 percent capacity beginning May 27.
  • Other facilities may open at a later date, pending availability of staff and after evaluation of vaccination and infection rates.

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