This story was updated at 11:04 a.m. on March 18, 2020.
As developments surrounding the novel coronavirus COVID-19 continue to surface, the city of Chattanooga is taking steps to keep local residents informed.
Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke said in a statement Saturday that "the health and safety of every single Chattanoogan is my top priority."
He also announced the launch of a new website created to provide residents with updates on any potential changes to city government's operations caused by COVID-19, and steps taken to keep city buildings clean.
"In the interests of keeping our employees healthy, our custodial crews are doing additional cleaning of areas like doorknobs, sinks, chairs, and light switches in all City buildings," Berke said in the release. "Additionally, I have asked all of our department heads to develop plans for how we can continue to deliver services in the event that the situation escalates."
People can sign up at Connect.Chattanoonga.gov/COVID to get email and text updates about what the city is doing and how to stay healthy.
Most patients with confirmed COVID-19 infection have mild respiratory illness with fever, cough and shortness of breath. A smaller number of patients have severe symptoms requiring hospitalization.
If you have recently traveled to areas where there are ongoing outbreaks of COVID-19 and develop fever with cough and shortness of breath within 14 days of your travel, or if you have had contact with someone who is suspected to have COVID-19, stay home and call your health care provider or local health department. Be sure to call before going to a doctor's office, emergency room or urgent care center and tell them about your recent travel and your symptoms.
Information also is available through the Chattanooga-Hamilton County coronavirus hotline at 423-209-8383 weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. or the Tennessee Department of Health hotline at 877-857-2945 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Central time daily.