Mayor John Cooper

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Nashville's COVID-19 numbers are higher than ever before.

The city estimates nearly 23,000 active COVID-19 cases in Davidson County, about 1 out of every 33 residents. However, that number doesn't account for all who tested positive using rapid tests at home.

The city didn't announce any significant changes to COVID-19 protocols on Monday. Instead, officials said Nashville already has the tools needed to fight the Omicron variant.

"We have the tools to deal with Omicron. Use them," Mayor John Cooper said.

Cooper emphasized that statement during his first COVID-19 briefing in several months on Monday afternoon. Officials stressed the importance of getting the booster dose of vaccine.

Cooper said 62.9% of Nashvillians are fully vaccinated, but let that 168,000 have received the booster shot, a number he said needs to go up.

"It is so important that if you qualify for a booster that you please get one," Metro Coronavirus Task Force Chairman Dr. Alex Jahangir said.

Officials acknowledged the long lines at testing and vaccinations sites. They said they had increased the number of lanes available for vaccinations and testing. They have decided to open up the sites on Saturdays for the month of January.

Nashville Fire Department Director Chief William Swann reminded residents that in addition to the city's Community Assessment Centers, residents can get tests and vaccinations at their primary doctor, walk-in clinics, and pharmacies. There are also pop-up community sites such as one happening at Corinthian Missionary Baptist Church.

One man traveling through Nashville was first in line to get tested on Monday morning after seeing a story on News4 on Sunday night.

"I tried to get two different tests yesterday in two different cities and on the CDC website there was no available times for COVID tests yesterday or today," Brett Etherton said.

He arrived at the church about 15 minutes before it opened at 11 a.m. By the time his interview was over, there was a line out the door at the church.

Volunteers will be offering COVID-19 tests at the church, located at 819 33rd Ave. N., through Thursday from 11 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. The rapid tests are being conducted, so people will be emailed their results about 30 minutes after having their nose swabbed.

 

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