NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Is middle Tennessee headed toward a second shutdown as new COVID-19 cases continue to climb once again? The question comes as more restaurants are announcing temporary closures because of COVID-19 contact during the city’s rebound.
Vanderbilt University Doctor William Schaffner says we could very well see a tightening of some restrictions this summer, but likely not a complete shutdown again.
"If we look at the impact the first serious shutdown had on our economy, the disruption of life, it was so profound," Schaffner said. "I don’t think we’d go through that sort of complete shutdown, absent a calamity. I think what we might do is close bars and other group activities for a while."
It would mark a possible step back toward tighter restrictions right as much of the economy is getting going again. Schaffner says people need to understand, if the COVID-19 number begins to decrease again after the city puts tighter restrictions back in place, people can’t stop wearing masks.
"The notion that we can do this for a short period of time and get over it, that’s incorrect, we’re going to be doing this for months," Schaffner said.
The city of Nashville recently issued an order requiring people to wear a face mask while in public.
“The data is clear. Wearing a mask reduces the chance of contracting COVID-19,” Dr. Alex Jahangir said to the Metro Board of Health while discussing the mandate.
Dr. Jahangir explained the city has reached a point at which officials have decided to mandate masks versus having to go back to a previous phase in the reopening plan.