NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Nashville remains on track to reach Phase 1 of Mayor John Cooper's Roadmap for Reopening Nashville despite a large increase in positive COVID-19 tests in the last 24 hours.
The Metro Public Health Department reported 163 new cases on Thursday, raising the Davidson County total to 2,832 confirmed cases. Two people died in the last 24 hours bringing the county's total to 27.
"Data today shows we are on the right track to begin Phase 1 in the near future - restaurants and commercial businesses opening at 50% capacity - with certain guidelines in place, including employee wearing masks," said Cooper.
"As we've said, it's not based on a single day. Some days up, some days down, but again, the science and data will guide the reopening, not a date," said Dr. Alex Jahangir, chairman of the Metro Coronavirus Task Force.
The city is working to improve testing facilities in order to test more people. The drive-through assessment centers at Nissan Stadium, Meharry Medical College and the former Kmart building on Murfreesboro Pike will now be open from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. five days a week for testing.
Metro Public Health is also working on mobile testing teams that can show up in different parts of the city in hot spots to conduct testing.
The city announced that after four people at the temporary homeless shelter at The Fairgrounds Nashville, all residents and staff there were tested on Thursday. Residents at Nashville Rescue Mission were also tested because some of the individuals had also spent time there.
Cooper also used the daily briefing to look back at the flood of 2010 that reshaped the future of Davidson County. Flood water poured into areas like Lower Broadway, Nissan Stadium, Bridgestone Arena, Opry Mills and Gaylord Opryland. More than 11,000 properties were damaged or destroyed, 10,000 residents were displaced and 11 people died.
"Those moments 10 years ago gave way to incredible support by the community to rebuild," said Cooper. "The community rallied around the phrase 'I Believe in Nashville.' We need to draw upon this encouragement again now. We must rely on each other."