Nashville Mayor John Cooper has placed new limits on gatherings just in time for Thanksgiving, leading one conservative watchdog to liken all the mayor’s decrees to a “game of duck duck goose.”
With the dramatically named “Rule of 8,” Cooper announced a limit of eight for public and private gatherings. The limits start Monday.
He tweeted, “Limit public and private gatherings to 8 people. Record COVID hospitalizations are straining hospitals. Restricting social contacts is critical to stopping the spread of COVID. Please reconsider any plans to gather with people outside of your household, including Thanksgiving.”
Limit public and private gatherings to 8 people. Record COVID hospitalizations are straining hospitals. Restricting social contacts is critical to stopping the spread of COVID. Please reconsider any plans to gather with people outside of your household, including Thanksgiving. pic.twitter.com/FmGklCf8FU
— Mayor John Cooper (@JohnCooper4Nash) November 19, 2020
Justin Owen, CEO of the Beacon Center of Tennessee, lambasted Cooper’s latest decree in a statement he gave to The Center Square.
“Now, he wants to barge into our homes and count heads like it’s a game of duck duck goose,” he said. “Even setting aside the constitutional issues it raises, restricting family gatherings by government force is not an effective solution to dealing with the pandemic anymore than his arbitrary and job-killing restrictions on restaurants, bars, and other businesses.”
During Metro’s weekly COVID-19 briefing, Cooper blamed his new restrictions on what he said were record hospitalizations across the state, NewsChannel 5 reported. Additionally, all indoor extracurricular activities for Metro Nashville Public Schools are on pause until further notice.
Cooper said if you absolutely have to gather with people outside your household, limit your gathering to eight people, maintain social distancing and wear your mask when you’re with people outside your household.
A total of 11 percent of hospital beds and 8 percent of ICU beds are available in Middle Tennessee hospitals, the Metro Nashville Health Department said Friday.
The restriction doesn’t affect gatherings that have already received permits, WSMV reported. The Metro Nashville Health Department will be stricter when evaluating new permits. This includes sporting events, such as the Tennessee Titans and Nashville SC, and concerts at the Ryman Auditorium and other locations.
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Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes.