City of Chattanooga agrees to help Hamilton County enforce mask mandate for businesses

Staff Photo by Robin Rudd/ Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger, right, with Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke, left. They take very different approaches to the current surge in coronavirus infection in the region.

After a week of back and forth between the city of Chattanooga and Hamilton County on the enforcement of county Mayor Jim Coppinger's mask mandate, the city announced Friday morning that it will assist the county health department in issuing citations for violations.

The city will lend two code enforcement workers from the Department of Economic and Community Development to assist the health department in issuing citations for businesses that are "egregiously" out of compliance, according to a news release issued Friday.

"We want to see full compliance with this mandate so we can contain the spread of this virus as quickly as possible," city Mayor Andy Berke said in the release. "Keeping up with complaints for businesses in the county is going to be a lot of work, and we're happy to help the health department any way we can, which is why we're making these resources available."