Nashville health leaders not considering mask mandates during Phase Three


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — With Nashville now in Phase Three of the city’s reopening plan, many people are concerned that a lack of masks could cause a resurgence of COVID-19.

As Davidson County continues to reopen, Metro health leaders stress the importance of wearing facial coverings. But in some places like downtown Nashville, it’s hard to find anyone wearing a mask.

Masks are only a requirement for employees inside businesses allowed to reopen and anyone inside a city owned building — not for individuals while they are out and about.

Businesses are required to post signage encouraging people to wear one, however, some stores and restaurants have set their own rules requiring customers to have one and if they don’t, they are not allowed inside.

Many cities across the country, including Memphis, now require residents to wear face coverings in certain public places and businesses. Although Nashville is seeing a spike in cases and not all metrics are satisfactory, the mandate is not being considered.

“We believe strongly that it’s important to mandate something we can enforce and right now, that’s what we’re doing,” explained Metro Public Health Department Director Dr. Michael Caldwell.

“It’s important to remember we want to be respectful of everybody to reduce tensions in our community and try to guide people and educate them to wear facial coverings and I think we’re making progress,” said Dr. Caldwell.

Health leaders hope business and community leaders will help encourage people to wear masks.

“The biggest thing you can do is wear a mask and stay apart. Businesses you can also help by requiring everyone to wear a mask at your establishment including customers and as a customer we may demand that businesses keep us safe,” said Dr. Alex Jahangir, Chairman of the Metro coronavirus task force.

According to Mayor Cooper, contact tracing investigations in Nashville show COVID-19 is spreading mostly in households and industries where employees work closely together, not while shopping or going out.

Nashville will stay in Phase Three for 28 days.

COVID-19 in Tennessee

(This reflects what the TDH is reporting each day at 2 p.m. CST )

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