NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Nashville is currently in Phase One of its reopening plan and health officials have certain benchmarks they are monitoring while deciding to move to Phase Two.
First is whether the number of new cases has either gone down or stayed flat in the last two weeks. They’re also looking at testing capacity in Nashville to be sure that they can quickly contact trace anyone who tests positive and if the health care system has enough space to treat patients.
City officials have said they will be making an announcement sometime this week about whether Nashville will move to Phase Two next week.
Nashville is two weeks into Phase One and Dr. Alex Jahangir, the head of Metro’s coronavirus task force, told News 2 he is proud of the progress the city has made in its first step to reopen.
Phase Two would allow limited gatherings of no more than 50 people like weddings or religious services. Hair and nail salons will open by appointment only with only 10 people inside at all times.
There was a large one-day increase of COVID-19 cases earlier this week, 230 in the county, which caused some concern.
Dr. Jahangir said it was caused by a delay of reporting from a private lab and the rolling 14-day average is still below 80.
“The trends seem to be flatter or even heading downward slightly but we’re a big community and we’re surrounded by a lot of other communities. I think we will continue to have cases and until there is a vaccine so I think we have to be realistic about what our expectations are and we can’t let our guard down,” said Dr. Jahangir.
Mayor John Cooper signed an executive order requiring employees and visitors to wear masks in city buildings. News 2 asked Dr. Jahangir if he thinks masks should be a requirement inside every building and business across the city.
“Individual businesses need to look at what the best practices are do what they feel is in the best interest of their employees and customers. Customers will make decisions on where they want to go
based on such rules. Am I wearing a mask everywhere I go? Yes. Is my family?Yes. I think it’s best practice and it’s been shown to minimize risk, so that’s what I recommend,” explained Dr. Jahangir.
He added since Nashville is following a roadmap and the CDC has changed some of their guidelines, there is a possibility amendments could be made to each phase, depending on the metrics.
COVID-19 in Tennessee
(This reflects what the TDH is reporting each day at 2 p.m. CST for every county other than Davidson. Information for Davidson comes from the Metro Public Health Department.)