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Davidson County enters moderate COVID community level

COVID-19 mask generic
Posted at 9:43 PM, Jun 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-02 06:46:57-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — June brings some big gatherings to the mid state as CMA Fest and Bonnaroo quickly approach.

But it's happening as we're seeing a jump in COVID cases in Tennessee — so much so that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now lists Davidson County as a medium COVID community level, after weeks of being in the green like most of the rest of the state.

While doctors say they understand masking and COVID fatigue are real, and people won't likely cancel summer plans, the omicron variants that are boosting cases in Nashville are so contagious, that doctors say even being outside at these events won't stop it.

"If you get people jammed together closely — even outdoors for prolonged periods of time — they're exuberant, singing and cheering, having a good time, you can be sure the omicron variant will take advantage of that and be contagious even under those circumstances," said Dr. William Schaffner with Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

That includes people who've had COVID before or people who are even up to date on vaccinations, though vaccinations increase the likelihood of mild symptoms.

As we enter our third summer with COVID in the lexicon, doctors say periodic case increases and reminders for more vulnerable populations to mask up at times may become part of our lives permanently.

"We'll have to be flexible, we may have surges for one reason or another," Schaffner said. "Remember what happened to the dinosaurs, they weren't very flexible, so we don't want to follow that game plan."