NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - While Nashville's COVID-19 numbers are improving, city leaders told residents and business owners to not relax and keep wearing masks.
Mayor John Cooper said on Thursday Nashville accounts for one out of five deaths from COVID-19 in the state.
The Music City will remain in a modified Phase Two as Tennessee is one of the 21 states in the "Red Zone," meaning there are still high numbers of COVID-19 cases. Cooper said Tennessee would need to reduce daily new case numbers by more than half.
"To no longer be declared a red zone, state needs to reduce to less than 1,000 a day. In Nashville we would need to get to 100 new cases a day," Cooper said.
Tennessee is one of 18 states in what is being deemed the "Red Zone," areas where the surge of COVID-19 cases could cause those states to roll back reopening plans.
The Metro Public Health Department announced there are 20,928 cases - 20,893 confirmed - cases of COVID-19 in Davidson County. Including both confirmed and probable cases, there was an increase of 411 total cases in the past 48 hours.
"Though we've seen signs that our response may be working, we've got our work cut out for us," Cooper said.
There was one confirmed death due to COVID-19 in the past 48 hours. A total of 181 people have died from confirmed cases attributed to COVID-19. In total, 190 deaths have been attributed to COVID-19.
"Nashville is not an island...can't contain the virus alone," Cooper said.
Even though Nashville is in the caution yellow category for hospital rooms or at 16 percent, Cooper called for every county to align and called for statewide coordinated response. He said he's frustrated at the virus, not the governor.
"We can have a policy disagreement on whether there needs to be a more coordinated response. and I think it does," Cooper said.
Cooper agreed with Dr. Deborah Birx about a mask mandate and closing bars early. He added masks are "clearly having a positive effect in Nashville."
"If eight out of 10 Nashvillians wear a mask, we can contain the virus," Cooper said.
A member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force is advising everyone in Tennessee to wear mask.
Dr. Alex Jahangir, who is the chair of the Metro Coronavirus Task Force, said if people are socializing that they needed to keep groups to under 25 people and even consider delaying birthday parties and anniversaries.
"We are seeing that gatherings are super spreader events," Jahangir said.
Jahangir said don’t share utensils or condiments.
"So if you do socialize with friends and family, ideally I want you to keep your group to under 25 Keep your distance. Don't share your food. And have your own cup, plate, utensils and condiments," Jahangir said. "When we let our guard down is when this virus spreads."
Jahangir said if you test positive, you need to reach out to the people, who you have been around.
"You know who you've been in contact with. You can call those people," Jahangir said. "Every individual has an obligation to their neighbor."
A contact tracer will notify the people you've been around, but since you are likely to get the results faster than the contact tracers, Jahangir said get head start on letting your friends know they need to get a test.
All three COVID-19 Assessment Centers will be open from 7 a.m. until 1 p.m. Thursday, Friday, and Monday. The Center at 2491 Murfreesboro Pike will be closed on Tuesday, "so the Election Commission members can access the building throughout the day. "
"Testing capacity remains robust," Cooper said.
The locations of the three COVID-19 Assessment Centers are:
- Nissan Stadium Lot “N,” 1 Titans Way, Nashville, TN 37213
- Meharry Medical College, 918 21st Avenue, North Nashville, TN 37217
- Former Kmart, 2491 Murfreesboro Pike, Nashville, TN 37217
The Nashville Public Health Department COVID-19 Hotline is 615-862-7777.