This story was updated on Wednesday, July 21, 2021, at 6:40 p.m. with information about the closing of a second community center.
Two Chattanooga community centers were ordered closed by Mayor Tim Kelly on Wednesday due to a confirmed case of COVID-19 at each facility, according to a city news release.
With contact tracing efforts underway, the Washington Hills Community Center and Frances B. Wyatt Community Center will be reopened after deep cleaning, sanitizing and quarantine protocols. Summer camp will not resume at the Washington Hills Community Center.
Parents and staff were notified on Wednesday and asked to take appropriate protective measures. Employees who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 will be assigned to other locations during the closure. All city employees are being offered a $100 incentive to get vaccinated, with a smaller incentive available for each vaccinated family member covered by city health insurance, the release states.
The decision on when to reopen the center will be made in consultation with Mary Lambert, the city's director of community health.
"The closure of these two community centers today is a wake-up call for our community that the spread of COVID-19 among unvaccinated individuals remains a threat to our city," Lambert said in the release. "The resurgence of this virus is a real danger, and the city will take every appropriate action to keep our residents safe."
The city is offering free, walk-in COVID-19 vaccinations at its community centers and at the Chattanooga Public Library. Free COVID-19 vaccines will be available on a walk-in basis in the downtown library auditorium every Monday from 3 to 5:30 p.m. until Monday, Aug. 30, 2021.
Free Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination events will be offered at multiple locations this week through the Hamilton County Health Department. No appointment is necessary and anyone 12 years of age and older is eligible. Visit vaccine.hamiltontn.gov or call the COVID-19 hotline Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 423-209-8383 for more information.
"The health and safety of Chattanooga's residents is my highest priority, and we will use every tool at our disposal to keep our city safe, and ensure that residents have access to convenient, free vaccination opportunities," Kelly said in the release. "I am deeply concerned that the uptick in infections among unvaccinated individuals could very well lead to more widespread closures. That's why I urge every Chattanooga resident to get vaccinated immediately."
Free upcoming walk-in vaccine clinics — while supplies last — at the city's community centers:
> July 21 - Heritage House from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.
> July 28 - Shepherd from 10 a.m. to noon
> July 28 - Eastgate Senior Center from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.
> Aug. 4 - Carver from 10 a.m. to noon
> Aug. 4 - Hixson (2nd shot) from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.
> Aug. 11 - Brainerd from 10 a.m. to noon
> Aug. 11 - Westside (2nd shot) from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.
> Aug. 18 - South Chatt from 10 a.m. to noon
> Aug. 18 - Tyner from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.
> Aug. 25 - John A Patten (2nd shot) from 10 a.m. to noon
> Aug. 25 - Glenwood (2nd shot) from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.
- Compiled by Kim Sebring