Metro Council passes resolution urging MPHD to pass indoor mask mandate

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The Nashville Metro Council passed a resolution Tuesday night urging Metro Public Health Department Chief Medical Director, Dr. Gill Wright, to require masks in all public indoor spaces.

This comes after a growing number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Davidson County, and a surge in pediatric coronavirus cases after the start of the new school year.

If the health department doesn’t adopt a mask mandate, Metro Councilwoman Joy Styles said the council has to ability to implement one themselves.

“All of us as council members have been inundated with emails asking for mask mandates. I think it’s clear we’ve had two doctors at the last council meeting come and beg us to put an indoor mask mandate in. Speaking specifically to working their shifts at the hospital and seeing how COVID is decimating, particularly the delta variant, is decimating our communities,” Styles said.

Styles sponsored the resolution asking the MNPHD director to make a move. It passed 21-to-9 at Tuesday night’s meeting. She says the city should be following CDC guidance but thinks some people are too worried about political ramifications.

“People are playing politics, including the department of health. They’re worried about state pre-emption. That is more important to them than people living. They’re worried, oh, what happens if the state might come in and they might preempt us? What I think is important is that we take a stand. As a body, we have the ability to do that,” Styles said.

The mask ordinance underwent its first reading at Tuesday’s meeting. To pass, it requires two more public readings. The next reading will be in October.

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