Health expert weighs in on large worship gathering in downtown Nashville


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Metro Nashville Public Health Department is investigating a large gathering that drew thousands of people to downtown Nashville over the weekend.

Meharry Medical College CEO Dr. James Hildreth said the gathering had the markings of a super-spreader event.

“It’s one of the things we cringe when we see in terms of public health officials. We know that it’s a situation that is ideal for the spread of the virus and it’s unfortunate and hopefully, some things can be done to encourage people that when they’re going to be in a large crowd at least they should wear a mask,” said Dr. Hildreth.

The “Let Us Worship” event was held Sunday afternoon outside the Metro Courthouse. Video on social media showed thousands of people packed together with no social distancing or face masks.

MORE: Concerned residents call Metro police over large worship gathering in downtown Nashville

Dr. Hildreth said it was better that the event was outdoors, but in addition to the lack of masks and social distancing, people were also singing and shouting near each other for an extended period of time.

“Transmission requires extended exposure, 10 minutes or more so these folks are standing there in a large group for an extended period of time. So one can almost predict given the level of virus in our community that this will turn out to be probably, likely a super-spreader event,” said Dr. Hildreth.

The event’s organizer said it was a protest making it legal.

But Metro Public Health is now investigating saying there was neither an application submitted to the health department nor a permit application submitted to any metro department.

This is a developing story. Stay with News 2 and for updates.

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