Nashville testing centers saw uptick around Thanksgiving holiday


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Over the last two weeks the three COVID-19 community assessment centers in Nashville have tested more than 14,000 people.

On Monday alone, the three sites tested 2,480 people for COVID-19. The Nashville Fire Department tells News 2 that is the largest volume the centers have seen since November 23, before the Thanksgiving holiday.

“Right now is when we’re probably going to start seeing infections from the Thanksgiving holiday. So, I think all of us who follow this will follow the next few days with close watch,” Metro Coronavirus Task Force Member Dr. Alex Jahangir said.

Jahangir is hesitant over the holidays when these types of testing increases historically correlate to a rise in hospitalizations and deaths.

“I think letting our guards down at this juncture is the worst thing that we can do,” Meharry Medical College Testing Administrator Dr. Julie Gray said.

Gray and her team have been at the assessment centers since March. And throughout the last nine months they’ve seen high volumes of traffic specifically around holidays.

“Today at our sites we have had a constant stream of traffic, a constant volume of traffic that indicates we could be potentially in the direction it’s predicted,” Gray said.

Gray said the most frustrating thing is when cases spike and people don’t take the virus seriously.

“Patients that come and have that level of lack of responsibility are the patients that really tug at your heart strings and make you a little bit more fatigued,” Gray said.

Metro Health Department reported nearly 700 new cases of COVID-19 in Nashville on Tuesday.

Gray said it’s all about education and staying home for the holidays this year. But doctors say if you are traveling, which it is not recommended by the CDC, that you get tested as a precaution beforehand.

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