Public Housing Covid-19 testing cancelled over uniform dispute

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CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – The Chattanooga Housing Authority canceled the COVID-19 testing planned for Monday.

News 12’s Taylor Bishop explains why.

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Residents that live right here at Emma Wheeler Holmes and the Mary Walker Towers will no longer receive COVID-19 testing that was scheduled to happen on Monday due to the Black Caucus decision to cancel that until further notice”

The Tennessee Black Caucus postponed testing due to concerns with the Tennessee National Guard doing the swab test.

Yusuf Hakeem, Tennessee Black Caucus
“We’re in discussion with the governors office about potentially the guard coming back in without their military attire.”



Chattanooga Housing Authority says the Black Caucus has concerns with “people in uniform” conducting testing.

“They would have been in full PPE, the medical folks would have been. All of the testing was provided indoors and as I said it was all voluntary, however their may be other healthcare professionals in the community who will step up to help the CHA, because they have learned that this is canceled for the time being. I would welcome any group to come into our sites and help us.”

Jeff McCendon and other Mary Walker Towers residents were supposed to get tested for Covid-19 on Monday.

“This test is very important to the high rise. We have a lot of people that are coming in and out of the high rise and we don’t know if they are carrying it or not. So we need to get tested to that we can have a handle on it.”

The Black Caucus says they are also worried about the use of patients personal information given to law enforcement.

Yusuf Hakeem, Tennessee Black Caucus
“The Housing Authority has done is signed an MOU, getting that information that could be shared with police and other entities. Now they tell me that they will tear that piece of paper up but they did sign it. I don’t know what the status of that is.”

We’ve reached out to the health department to see if they would provide on site testing to these areas but they were unable to comment.
In Chattanooga, Taylor Bishop News 12 Now.