Metro Nashville Health Officials Silent on Reason for Sudden Reversal of Decision to Continue Mask Mandate, Just Hours After Pledging to Uphold It


According to the Metro Public Health Department (MPHD), Nashville’s mask mandate was supposed to continue despite the latest CDC recommendation. However, health officials quickly reversed their decision within hours, and without offering a detailed explanation. As The Tennessee Star reported Friday, the mask mandate ended on Friday morning at 5 a.m. CST. The Metro Public Health Department (MPHD) shared that the decision was made by certain Metro health officials, who convened after Thursday’s board of health meeting.

MPHD said in a press release that certain Metro health officials met after the Metro Board of Health meeting Thursday to further review the CDC recommendations. It is unclear what further information caused them to change their minds. In response to inquiries from The Star, the MPHD spokesperson shared the same MPHD press release. He said that there weren’t any other reasons for the reversal beyond what’s been shared publicly.

“After reviewing further, a decision was [made] to end the Public health indoor mask order. We expect the order to expire on Friday, May 14,” wrote MPHD. “The MPHD continues to strongly recommend wearing masks for those who are unvaccinated when in crowds, indoors, and when unable to socially distance, as also recommended by the CDC. Each individual business retains the right to set their own restrictions regarding the use of masks.

Late Thursday afternoon, Metro health officials declared initially that the mask mandate would continue. That assertion was published just after 4 p.m. Less than 2 hours later, Metro officials reversed their decision. It appears that the change wasn’t anticipated, because MPHD had to issue a correction over three hours later regarding the reversed decision. MPHD clarified that the board of health hadn’t reversed the mask mandate decision during its meeting: rather, the board of health chair, health director, and the MPHD epidemiology team made the decision after the meeting ended.

On Friday, Mayor John Cooper claimed that the number of vaccinated individuals caused officials to reverse their decision – but, as the MPHD explained in their first Thursday post, that was the very information that health officials relied upon originally to support continuance of the mask mandate.

Initially MPHD said that, although the CDC said that vaccinated individuals could cease mask-wearing, Metro officials felt that not enough individuals had been vaccinated to drop the mask mandate altogether.

“We look forward to a time when more of our county’s population is vaccinated, allowing mask requirements to safely be dropped altogether in public settings,” said MPHD. “With less than half of Davidson County residents vaccinated and Tennessee lagging the national average among people that are fully vaccinated, the dropping of mask requirements at this time in high-risk settings is not feasible.”

Two hours later, without any detailed explanation, MPHD issued health officials’ reversed decision on continuing the mask mandate. The correction noting that the board of health didn’t make the decision came over three hours after the reversal announcement.

The Star reached out to spokespersons with the Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) to inquire whether state officials had influenced this decision. At the end of April, Governor Bill Lee told counties with mask mandates to remove them before Memorial Day Weekend.

TDH spokespersons would only clarify that they are independent from all metro health departments, and that The Star would have to speak with MPHD.

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Corinne Murdock is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and the Star News Network. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to [email protected].
Photo “John Cooper” by 






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7 Thoughts to “Metro Nashville Health Officials Silent on Reason for Sudden Reversal of Decision to Continue Mask Mandate, Just Hours After Pledging to Uphold It”

  1. Nextmayorofyourtown

    At what point will they tell every one who got the gene therapy shot that they will probably end up dead within a couple years ? Vaccine definition was changed just so they could call gene therapy shots vaccines ! People better get ready for what’s really coming ! Collapse of food , money and freedom ! They need martial law to keep trump from getting back to the top ! Both parties lie cheat and steal ! Prove me wrong . Btw if they print money why do we pay tax ?

  2. Bob Marsh

    Our public leaders are out of their depth. They should just say they don’t know and are winging it. We know this but only some say it.

    1. Actually they are incompetent at best . Government employees are pretty much trash of the Earth.

  3. Fauci got caught pants down with hiss involvement with the Covid Virus research with our money and China… lift the mandate and everybody forgets!

  4. Tim Price

    Don’t people realize that this is all political rather than for the safety of the public?

  5. Kevin

    Classic Dumocrat “monkey see. monkey do” behavior”!

    So, Biden’s people see that poll results indicate that he and the Dumocrats are losing BIGLY. A “focus group” points to masks as the culprit. Boom, suddenly masks are a thing of the past! Probably to be blamed on Trump! But Cooper, being the good LITTLE Dumocrat Socialist that he is, follows like an obedient little puppy dog. If Biden stops quick, Cooper will find himself in a place where the Sun never shines.

    Personally, I wish the mayor would put his mask back on, cinch it up and keep it on!

  6. rick

    Commie Cooper along with his administration have consistently lied and been deceptive about everything they have done, so why should this move about the political mask be any different. Not being truthful and forthcoming is the true characteriistic of Prodressive Leftist Democrats.
    Cooper may also realize he cannot stop the voter referendum on his ridiculous property tax increase that the little dictator forced on the citizens and he is trying to buy favoritism with this token political gift for being good little Sheeple,, sorry Commie to little to late, the voters have your number. Money and power, that’s what it’s all about!