In his latest executive order, Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly officially on Friday approved the reopening of all city facilities that were closed because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Starting Tuesday, all youth and family development and senior centers will resume operations after being closed for about 14 months. The city will also begin hosting summer camps and will open remaining pools the following week on, on June 7.
The Warner Park Pool opened on Friday.
Mayor Tim Kelly's May 28, 2021, Executive OrderView
"As the weather warms up, I am grateful for the opportunity to once again provide these important city services that bring our neighbors together in the spirit of community," a statement by Kelly said. "Our city's YFD centers, pools and senior centers provide vital services and offer welcome diversions. Reopening them safely has been a top priority for my administration."
Under the order, masks will still be required in city-owned buildings for unvaccinated adults, while those under the age of 18 and vaccinated adults will be exempt.
Youth and Family Development, Senior Center schedule Summer 2021View
"Now that our city has taken a big step toward normalcy, our community's continuing challenge will be to put this pandemic behind us through vaccinations in order to maintain these gains," said a statement from Mary Lambert, Chattanooga director of community health. "The last thing anyone wants is to see a rise in infections because of a failure to take advantage of easily accessible vaccinations, which are shown to protect our families and loved ones from the COVID-19 virus."
The order will also continue assistance such as food and shelter for elderly residents of Patten Towers who are still displaced after a March fire condemned the building. A total of 103 residents were able to move back in Wednesday, but another 80 individuals have yet to be cleared to return.
Ellis Smith, the city's director of special projects, said in a statement that the owner of Patten Towers is "working diligently to reopen all floors."
— Compiled by Tierra Hayes