NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — As Nashville enters phase 2 of reopening, many are eager to get back to a semi-normal life, but medical experts tell News 2 they’re seeing more positive COVID-19 tests from those who aren’t showing any symptoms.
“The vast majority of COVID-19 cases that we’ve had confirmed here recently, have been a-symptomatic people,” said Nurse Practitioner Rachel Cole with Complete Urgent Care in Nashville, “That means people don’t know that they have it.”
As many places in Nashville move to open at 75% capacity Monday, experts say the safest place to be is still outside at parks, lakes, or a beach.
“Being outdoors is a much safer place to be socially if you’re going to be in groups of people, but I would definitely recommend still continuing to social distance at least 6 feet away from those not in your immediate household,” Cole explained.
“We have to remember, the COVID virus loves groups, that’s how it spreads and so avoiding large groups is also important, don’t cluster in large groups,” said Dr. William Shaffner, an Infectious Disease Specialist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
Going into stores or restaurants poses a medium to high risk of contracting COVID-19, depending on how well the establishment enforces social distancing and proper sanitizing.
“Such as they’re only allowing a certain amount of people per square foot, I believe Costco is doing that,” Cole said.
Health experts say church services or other enclosed gatherings like weddings are also medium-to-high risk right now.
“You’re sitting close together most likely, someone’s sitting side by side with you, you’re indoors,” Cole explained.
As for travel, hotels and airlines are doing what they can for safety, but experts say avoid if possible.
If you have to use a public bathroom — it’s okay, just be cautious.
“Sanitize your hands before you even go to the restroom, you can even wash your hands before using the restroom when you exit if they don’t have a hands free kind of an exit,” Cole advised.
As people get eager to return to their in-person social lives, keep in mind this pandemic is not over.
“People are still testing positive, we’re still seeing symptomatic and asymptomatic people,” Cole said, “So it is still very much a thing.”
A Mask, wipes, and hand sanitizer can all lower your risk, wherever you go.
Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.