NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Nashville Mayor John Cooper is expected to announce if Nashville’s “Safer-at-Home” order will be extended past Friday during his daily coronavirus task force briefing.
The decision is all based on the data. Mayor Cooper said the city is on the right track to reopening, but the number of COVID-19 cases continues to increase.
Last week when the order was extended, the task force said health officials need to see 80 new cases or less per day in order to possibly start Phase 1— but most days this week, there have been more than 100 cases per day.
Tuesday was the deadliest day for the city as five new deaths were reported, according to Metro’s dashboard of metrics.
Two important factors remain less than satisfactory, the 14-day new case trend and the transmission rate.
Mayor Cooper said he has been spending the week working closely with public health experts to see if we can move forward — as employees from downtown businesses even other city leaders have spoken out against the order’s extension.
“How much are we bleeding? Badly! Let me tell you something right now, how do we ask for a 32% property tax increase when people aren’t employed in this city. I’m not going to stand by and wait on this anymore, Am I upset? You bet,” said Metro Council member Steve Glover.
“We are proceeding in a very good direction to get us launched in Phase 1. But this is our learning time as a community, how to do phase 1 successfully,” explained Mayor Cooper.
A group of downtown Nashville business owners and employees protested Wednesday and plan to return Thursday.
Some business owners are concerned about safely reopening, while others wonder if Nashville will reopen too early.
City councilman Freddie O’Connell said we still need to get to a point where people are in the habit of wearing a mask and staying six feet apart before Phase 1 begins.
“I mean these are unusual and often uncomfortable things for a lot of people to make second nature right now. If we were to reopen and we saw community spread get worse, imagine then the scenario even the government or the mayor would have to be in or any county health be in if we see our hospitalization rate surge. Businesses and hospitals are at a line right now, what the right choice is for impact or community? We have a landscape of parable options,” explained O’Connell.
COVID-19 in Tennessee
(This reflects what the TDH is reporting each day at 2 p.m. CST )