Could Nashville soon require you to wear masks in public?

Posted at 10:09 PM, Jun 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-25 23:41:47-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Mayor John Cooper says he’s considering his options, including a possible mandate on masks, as Nashville sees an increase in new COVID-19 cases.

The increase coincides with the city and state re-opening. But if there’s an epicenter for where COVID-19 cases are hitting hardest in Nashville, the Antioch area is it.

"Southeast Nashville is a hotbed for COVID right now," said Metro councilwoman Sandra Sepulveda, who represents the area. "We are scrambling to find every possible solution."

Experts say many of the cases are now coming from the virus spreading within the same household, or from small, close gatherings among friends.

Even so, Metro Councilwoman Sandra Sepulveda says an ordinance requiring people to wear masks at all times outside can help slow this newly increased spread.

Another Metro Councilwoman from the Antioch area, Joy Styles, is proposing such an ordinance, but Gov. Bill Lee has said he doesn’t think that’s the best approach statewide.

Read More: Councilwoman works to reduce COVID-19 in Southeast Nashville hotspot

Other health officials have warned of a backlash if masks become required, with the question of how the city would enforce the law.

"There will always be backlash, but my people are getting sick and I’m not willing to not look at every possible scenario just because some people will be upset about it," Sepulveda said.

Especially, Sepulveda says, when it’s her neighbors getting hit the hardest.