NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Starting Thursday, Nashville will require face coverings inside Metro government buildings, Mayor John Cooper has announced.
Cooper confirmed the update in a tweet Wednesday, citing the “rapid increase of the Delta variant.” He also said the update is in accordance with the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Metro Public Health Department.
With the rapid increase of the Delta variant, and in accordance with CDC and @NashvilleHealth recommendations, face coverings will be required inside Metro Government buildings beginning Thursday, August 5. pic.twitter.com/Ooz7V8CzTQ— Mayor John Cooper (@JohnCooper4Nash) August 4, 2021
The executive order applies to Metro employees and the public. However, the requirement does not apply to private businesses who, according to Metro, are "encouraged to consider the health and wellbeing of their employees and customers as they decide what safety measures make sense in their particular situations."
According to a release, the Metro Nashville Government is reimplementing masking inside Metro buildings to "protect the public and city employees so Metro can continue to deliver quality services to residents."
“Vaccinations are our best tool for ending the pandemic,” Mayor Cooper said. “If you’ve been on the sidelines, waiting, now is your time to get vaccinated. Our Public Health Department has a vaccine waiting for you so you can protect your health and your family’s health.”
According to the mayor's office, Metro joins Shelby County, Hamilton County and the City of Knoxville in requiring masks inside city buildings.
A THIRD WAVE OF COVID CASES
According to Metro, the Delta variant has led to the beginning of a third wave of COVID cases. The number of active cases is now at 2,718, compared to just 444 one month ago. The percentage of positive tests is now higher than 11%, compared to less than 2% in June.
So far, 53.6% of Davidson County’s population has received at least one shot of the vaccine, compared to 57.9% nationally and 44.8% in Tennessee.
COVID-19 update:— Mayor John Cooper (@JohnCooper4Nash) August 4, 2021
• 565 new cases in past 48 hours
• 2 additional deaths
• 7-day test positivity: 11.2%
• 53.6% of Nashvillians have received a vaccine.
See full report on the Epidemiology and Surveillance Updates tab of @NashvilleHealth’s dashboard: https://t.co/BDnU4Ne0bO
Metro’s said its masking policy will be "re-evaluated on an ongoing basis" as cases decline and vaccination levels improve.
Nashville has a free drive-thru vaccine clinic located at 2491 Murfreesboro Road. It's open from Monday - Friday, 7 a.m. - 1 p.m.