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Press Release

10 November 2020 · 4 min. read

EPB donates 5,000 face masks to Chattanooga students & families

Chattanooga, TN (November 10, 2020) – EPB has donated 5,000 masks to Hamilton County Schools and La Paz Chattanooga, as part of the “TN Strong Mask Movement,” an initiative by Tennessee Governor Bill Lee’s Economic Recovery Group. The face coverings were distributed to five Hamilton County Schools: Dalewood Middle, East Brainerd Elementary, East Lake Academy, East Lake Elementary, and East Side Elementary. Additional masks were given to La Paz Chattanooga families and Hamilton County Schools for future use.

“In a time when families have faced tremendous challenges, it’s great to see the private and public sectors work together to support those in need,” said Mark Ezell, Director of Tennessee’s Economic Recovery Group. “EPB provides a critical service to the Chattanooga area year-round, and I commend EPB for their participation in the TN Strong Mask Movement to make masks available to those who need them most. Governor Lee established the Economic Recovery Group, a joint effort between state departments, legislative members, and leaders from the private sector to build guidance to safely reboot Tennessee’s economy.”

Masks, social distancing, frequent handwashing, staying at home when you’re sick and other measures have all shown to reduce the number of coronavirus cases according to the Hamilton County Health Department.

Students wearing masks are crucial to helping Hamilton County Schools stay open and to protect their classmates, educators, school personnel, and students’ families at home.

“We appreciate EPB and our community partners helping to keep our schools a safe place to learn and grow,” said Hamilton County Schools Superintendent Dr. Bryan Johnson. “EPB supports Hamilton County Schools in several ways, including EPB’s partnership with Tyner Academy in the school’s Future Ready Institute, their joint venture with the community to offer HCS EdConnect internet service at no charge to economically-challenged families to ensure access for all children, and providing Quick Connect WiFi hot spots in strategic areas in the community to help keep students connected and learning.”

La Paz Chattanooga is the leading organization promoting inclusion of Hispanic/Latino communities in Southeast Tennessee.

“During the healthcare crisis, our goal has been consistent - to ensure the Latino community has accurate and up to date information as well as access to important resources," said La Paz Executive Director Stacy Johnson. "We are grateful to EPB for providing masks - to help keep community members safe and to assist with the reduction of positive cases within the Latino community - which has been disproportionately affected by the virus.”

David Wade, President & CEO of EPB, understands that we all have to work together to help our community overcome the COVID-19 crisis.

“EPB is committed to helping our neighbors in need adapt to this crisis,” said Wade. “Providing masks to students to help them stay safe is part of broader efforts that include continuing our partnership with Hamilton County Schools to ensure every student has the broadband they need to continue their studies, providing local companies with the connectivity they need for remote work, and helping United Way raise funds in support of people who are struggling financially in these difficult times.”

Since the launch of the Economic Recovery Group’s “TN Strong Mask Movement” in June, more than 70 organizations across the Volunteer State have joined together to create and distribute nearly 700,000 masks to Tennessee residents. The Governor’s office estimates that the project is valued at more than $7 million and provides a way for our citizens to stay safe as we continue to deal with the coronavirus crisis. More information can be found at

About EPB

EPB serves the greater Chattanooga area by providing world-class energy and connectivity solutions as a means of promoting economic development and enhancing quality of life for our community. We deliver electricity to more than 170,000 homes and businesses across our 600 square mile service area which includes most of Hamilton County as well as parts of surrounding counties in both Tennessee and Georgia. In 2010, EPB Fiber Optics, which offers internet, TV, and telephone services, became the first provider in the United States to deliver up to 1 Gig (1,000 Mbps) internet speeds utilizing a community-wide fiber optic network which is accessible to every home and business in its service area. In 2015, EPB became the first, and to date, only American ISP to make up to 10 Gig (10,000 Mbps) internet speeds accessible to all of its residential and commercial customers as a standard offer.

EPB has also utilized its community-wide fiber optic network to deploy the most advanced and highly automated smart grid power management system in the nation. In recognition of EPB’s groundbreaking infrastructure, the Department of Energy and Oak Ridge National Laboratory are utilizing EPB’s smart grid as a national model for researching and developing best practices. EPB is also the first major power distribution utility to earn the USGBC’s PEER certification for having a highly automated, modernized electric power grid.

EPB is an independent board of the City of Chattanooga which began serving customers in 1939. Visit for more information.


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