NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - After a rash of COVID-19 outbreaks at construction sites in Nashville, Metro officials managed to stop the spread of the virus.
The Metro Health Department explained how construction workers can get COVID-19. Dr. Gill Wright of the Metro Health Department said construction workers are considered essential workers and therefore were working when others stayed home. Because of the nature of their work they exert themselves physically, breathing hard in close quarters, and often share rides.
“A lot of the people carpool back and forth to the construction site,” Wright said. “And again, if they’re not wearing their masks, and if they are together in a vehicle for a period of time, that potentially puts them at risk.”
Metro released a list of the construction sites that have each had more than 10 COVID cases:
- Montgomery Bell Academy’s construction site - 75
- Broad West Construction - 34
- Lipscomb University’s Elam Hall project – 32
- The Grand Hyatt Hotel – 23
- Rolling Hill Mill – 21
Metro Health officials said they have a handle on outbreaks at construction sites.
“Those clusters, those groupings of infections, were in May and June, and we haven’t had any new sites since that,” Wright said.
Metro started a big education program when construction cases spiked, they are changing up the way construction sites operate. For example, workers staggered their shift times, so there was not a bottleneck of people coming and going.
“They are separating them, difference exits when the shifts are over,” Atkins said. “So they are getting out in front of it more.”
Major downtown construction sites have their own health compliance officers doing things such as checking temperatures.
Metro Health said people are most at risk of getting COVID-19 at a social gathering such as a backyard party.