Dr. Birx warns Nashville should take aggressive action to mitigate virus


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Rutherford County is the latest district to reconsider its plan for classes this fall. School board members will hold a special meeting to discuss changes it feels are necessary.

Governor Bill Lee has previously said returning to the classroom is best for children. However — as case counts climb — some teachers disagree.

A number of educators protested near the Capitol Monday. They want Gov. Lee to only allow in-person learning when a county reaches two weeks without new cases.

Top officials met Monday with Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator.

Dr. Birx warned that 11 major cities — including Nashville — should take aggressive action to mitigate the virus but rural areas should also pay attention.

“This spread however is equally across the state into rural areas, small cities, and of course your major metros, and that is what has been the most concerning to us, is to watch that broad spread across the state, very similar to what they experienced across our southern US,” said Dr. Birx.

The task force recently recommended Tennessee should slow down reopening.

“What’s important to us is the safety of the children, the parents and the teachers, but let me make this also clear, and this is why it’s in the CDC guidelines, the most important piece of this is to put the child at the center, and to make those accommodations needed to ensure that those children have access to the health nutrition, mental and emotional support they achieve in schools and I know that’s a difficult balance, and that’s why each school district should be working today to decrease their case loads,” said Dr. Birx.

Gov. Lee is scheduled to address the needs of schools at a news conference Tuesday afternoon. He reiterated Monday that nothing is off the table to fight the coronavirus, but said it would not include closing the economy back down.

News 2 digs deeper into how schools are moving forward safely for the new academic year. See how other districts around Middle Tennessee are handling everything from classroom concerns to the future of sports in our special series. Click here to see more.

COVID-19 in Tennessee

(This reflects what the TDH reports each day. )

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