NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — On Tuesday, Metro Nashville COVID-19 case counts soared to a new 24-hour record with 771 positive cases.
“We are headed in a terrible direction and we’ve got to reverse that direction right now,” said Nashville Mayor John Cooper.
For this striking surge, the city is forced to reverse its course on reopening and Mayor Cooper says a stronger reaction is required.
“We’re not targeting people, but if people are persistently non-compliant after they have been asked to keep each other safe they will get a ticket,” said Mayor Cooper. “And we have to do that because we’re at 771 cases.”
On Tuesday, Mayor Cooper announced people who do not wear a mask in public will be ticketed. Although a full-scale lock down is not off the table, he calls masks the easiest way to fight back against a virus that’s poised to take over.
“We’re at the point in the disease that unless we take this very seriously, we will have to have lockdowns that really seem intolerable, but needed to keep our hospitals functioning.”
Cooper calls it his greatest fear. Another spike in case counts could lead to hospitals being overwhelmed. Every major decision goes back to this.
“Everybody involved with the disease is fearful about healthcare capacity not being up to the job when it’s needed,” he said.
So, the city will stay put. This modified Phase 2 remains. Bars will stay closed until at least August 1. The mayor’s plan and pledge are to protect the people, masks now will save lives and jobs later.
“With our current spike in disease this is not a moment for relaxing where we are.”
Mayor Cooper is calling on Nashville residents to show the same strength they’ve shown before.
“None of us would have believed we would have wandered into a bad science fiction movie, but we have,” Mayor Cooper said. “Frankly, I’m here today to tell you Nashville is back into another tornado situation where everybody has to have each other’s back and work together to work through this crisis.”
COVID-19 in Tennessee
(This reflects what the TDH is reporting each day at 2 p.m. CST )