COVID-19 claimed the lives of five more Nashvillians between Monday and Tuesday — all over the age of 60 and all people with underlying health conditions.
This, according to Metro Coronavirus Task Force Chair Alex Jahangir at a press conference Tuesday.
Those five deaths, in a 24-hour timespan, included a 62-year-old woman, a 65-year-old man, a 71-year-old man, a 76-year-old woman, and an 81-year-old man.
“We now have 32 Nashvillians who have died from this virus. Today we have 3,322 confirmed cases. That is an increase of 131 cases in the last 24 hours. Of these cases, 1,660 are currently active and 1,630 of the residents have recovered or have been cleared. Looking at some of the other metrics we are tracking, the transmission rate continues to be one for the week,” Jahangir said.
“This means on average one person who has the virus is passing it on to one other person. Our goal is for this to be at one. While not where we want it, the transmission rate is holding steady and not regressing. Testing capacity continues to be improved. Last week, 6,048 individuals in Davidson County were tested. This is 909 more tests than were conducted previously and is well above our goal of 4,667 per week that we have set.”
Nashville Mayor John Cooper, meanwhile, said more confirmed COVID-19 cases disappointed him — but they also didn’t discourage him.
“Our numbers are better than they could be,” Cooper said.
“You are not seeing that shocking uptick [in cases], like 200 or 300, and for that we need to be grateful and remind ourselves the reason you are not seeing it is because we’re becoming effective at social distancing. I have said here, before you, the people at home will determine when we can move through our safer at home orders and our restart of the economy orders because you will have to be good at this for a long time. You will have to have masks and distancing and look after your employees and your customers for a long time to come, and it’s all something that will require practice, reminding and education to get it right.”
Nashville officials say they are still in a place where they cannot move on to the first of four phases of a planned reopening of the city.
As The Tennessee Star reported, those phases involve the following:
• In Phase One retail businesses will open and restaurants will have dine-in services, all at half-capacity and added guidelines and restrictions and operations will be present. Employees will be screened daily to ensure that they are symptom free and they will be required to wear cloth face coverings. Other public gatherings will be limited to 10 people or less. Everyone out in public should wear cloth masks and, if you are able, still work from home.
• In Phase Two, businesses and restaurants can go to three-quarters capacity with certain guidelines. In addition, personal hygiene businesses like hair and nail salons will open but only for appointments, no walk-ins, and limited to 10 people inside the building at one time. Playgrounds, tennis courts, and basketball courts will open. Other public gatherings, including worship services, will be limited to 50 people and with adherence to strict physical distancing protocols.
• In Phase Three businesses and restaurants will go to full capacity. In addition, bars and entertainment venues will open at half capacity. Gyms and fitness facilities will open. Other gatherings will be limited to 100, again with adherence to strict physical distancing protocols.
• In Phase Four, bars and entertainment venues will be at full capacity, and sport venues will open with adherence to physical distancing protocols and best practices.
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