Mayor Kelly Updates Chattanooga’s COVID Executive Order, Still Requires Masks In City Buildings

Photo: Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly

Photo Credit: Mayor Tim Kelly / Facebook

Published May 4, 2021

Chattanooga, TN – With the expiration of state and county pandemic restrictions, Mayor Tim Kelly issued an updated executive order on Friday to modify the city’s guidance on COVID-19 precautions and procedures. 

Chattanooga, Tennessee At Night

The order was updated to remove language stemming from orders by Tennessee Governor Bill Lee and Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger that are no longer in effect, while underscoring city rules and guidelines that will remain in place. 

• Face masks will still be required in all city buildings.  

• City senior centers shall continue to remain closed.

• Social distancing guidelines covering outdoor events remain in effect.

• Residents are encouraged to follow CDC guidelines in public and private spaces, including social distancing and mask usage. 

• Removed language requiring social distancing and mask usage in non-city buildings and when outdoors. 

• Removed language affecting McKamey Animal Center’s services. 

Additionally, the Chattanooga Public Library, in observance of CDC guidelines, will allow residents to browse the stacks beginning on May 3.  

Existing services such as curbside pickup, digital programming, computer access, as well as passport and notary services will remain available, except at Avondale.  

Seating and in-person programming will remain unavailable until a later date. As with all city buildings, a face covering is required for entry. 

In a statement issued Friday, the mayor’s office stated that the city will continue to update its pandemic guidance weekly in future executive orders “in line with both CDC safety measures as well as local vaccination and infection rates.” 

On Thursday, April 29th, Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger allowed the mask mandate to expire in the county, choosing not to modify the mandate or leave any restrictions in place.   

He did, however, ask that people in Hamilton County follow CDC guidelines. 

On April 27th, Governor Lee announced the end of statewide public health orders and signed Executive Order 80 to address economic and regulatory functions. 

The Executive Order ended the local authority to issue mask requirements in the 89 counties directed by the state health department. 

Lee said, “COVID-19 is now a managed public health issue in Tennessee and no longer a statewide public health emergency.” 

While Tennessee has never had a statewide mask mandate, Lee’s Executive Order 80 removed the local authority for county mayors in 89 of the state’s 95 counties to require face coverings throughout their jurisdictions. 

Gov. Lee requested counties with independent health departments – Shelby, Madison, Davidson, Hamilton, Knox and Sullivan – that have remaining business restrictions or mask requirements to lift all measures no later than May 30. 

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