Berke issues shelter-in-place order for Chattanooga, closes additional businesses amid coronavirus

Staff photo by C.B. Schmelter / Mayor Andy Berke speaks during a Council Against Hate meeting at The Camp House on Monday, July 15, 2019 in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Chattanooga will be under a shelter-in-place order beginning Saturday to curtail the spread of COVID-19, according to an executive order signed by Mayor Andy Berke Thursday afternoon, restricting citizens' travel, child care options and access to public spaces.

The order, Berke's sixth mandate in three weeks to address the virus, is the most sweeping directive for businesses and individuals in the city so far, putting the onus on residents to remain in their homes for all but the most critical activities, including work at an essential business, getting groceries or receiving medical attention.

The order also closes city parks and public spaces, boutiques such as clothing stores and other non-essential locations that were spared in Berke's last business order.

His action also closes child care programs that aren't serving essential personnel and restricts "non-essential" travel, which Berke described as traveling anywhere outside of essential locations, such as work or the grocery store.