1-minute COVID-19 update, Chattanooga, TN – November 2020

Local health officials are working to keep the public updated about coronavirus. | Pexels

With COVID-19 vaccines on the horizon, local and national health officials are warning the public about a pre-holiday surge of the novel virus and asking them to take preventative measures in coming weeks.

The Hamilton County Health Department released guidance for how to avoid household spread. Gov. Bill Lee said he’s changing his long-held holiday tradition, and local school officials announced that there will be schedule changes for high school students after Thanksgiving. 

The Hamilton County mask mandate is also set to expire on Nov. 22, so we’re expecting an update from the health department + Mayor Jim Coppinger on that soon. 

Local numbers not up-to-date 

  • Chattanooga COVID-19 cases have been up, but the health department has had technical difficulties starting Sunday, so the current positivity rate can’t be calculated. 
  • The incomplete data shows that there are more cases than last week’s record-breaking numbers. 
  • On Tuesday, there were 210 new infections; 112 hospitalizations + 35 people in intensive care

Source: Chattanooga Times Free Press 

Hamilton County schools

The recent rise of community cases has put the district Phase Tracker in the transition area between Phase 3 and Phase 2.

This chart shows the school system’s different phases, which are based on the number of COVID-19 cases. | Hamilton County schools

The new post-Thanksgiving schedule is: 

  • Students in grades 9-12 will transition to an A/B hybrid learning schedule beginning Monday, Nov. 30, and remain in that schedule through Dec. 17.
  • K-8 students will remain on campus five days a week when they return on Monday, Nov. 30 through Dec. 4.
  • The district will re-evaluate the schedule for students in grades K-8 after Thanksgiving break to ensure officials are in step with local health data 

Blood drives 

School blood drives have been cancelled, so the local donation center is extending hours Thurs., Nov. 19., in hopes of getting more people in the door. 

🩸 Thanks for Giving Blood Drive | Blood Assurance, 705 E. 4th St. | Until 10 p.m. | There will be a $50-Butterball coupon given away every hour with a grand prize from The Bread Basket picked at noon + COVID-19 safety precautions are being taken.

Thanksgiving 

CDC officials said that small household gatherings have contributed to the recent rise in COVID-19 cases nationwide. Likewise, the local health department said that recent, new cases were being spread within households. 

Quoteworthy

“Some people with COVID-19 show no or mild symptoms and think they can go on about their normal routines, but this is contributing to the spike in cases. Anyone testing positive, whether they have symptoms or not, needs to isolate from both the community and within the home.” – Becky Barnes, Hamilton County Health Department Administrator