Mayor Cooper issues 'safer at home' order for Davidson County; COVID-19 cases rise to 179

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Posted at 8:49 AM, Mar 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-22 19:18:25-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Metro Nashville Mayor John Cooper and other officials met on Sunday to give an update on the city's response to the COVID-19 outbreak in Davidson County.

At the press conference, Mayor Cooper issued a "safer at home" order for all of Davidson County for the next 14 days. The order was given in an effort to help limit the spread of COVID-19.

The order closes nonessential businesses and urges people to stay at home unless they have an essential need beginning 12:01 a.m. Monday, March 23.

See what's considered an "essential business" under Mayor Cooper's order here

Grocery stores, convenience stores and pharmacies will remain open. Restaurants will still be able to provide take-out, delivery and drive-thru services. Additionally, the mayor said there's no need for "panic buying" large amounts of supplies as these stores will remain open.

Residents may still go outside for fresh air, but the Mayor's office asks that you keep six feet distance from others.

The Mayors office said, under the order, below is what Nashvillians can expect:


  • Go to the grocery, convenience or warehouse store
  • Go to the pharmacy to pick up medications and other healthcare necessities
  • Go to medical appointments (check with your doctor or provider first)
  • Go to a restaurant for take-out, delivery or drive-thru
  • Care for or support a friend or family member
  • Take a walk, ride your bike, hike, jog and be in nature for exercise — just keep at least six feet between you and others.
  • Walk your pets and take them to the veterinarian if necessary
  • Help someone to get necessary supplies
  • Receive deliveries from any business which delivers


  • Go to work unless you are providing essential services as defined by this Order
  • Visit friends and family if there is no urgent need
  • Maintain less than 6 feet of distance from others when you go out
  • Visit loved ones in the hospital, nursing home, skilled nursing facility or other residential care facility, except for limited exceptions as provided on the facility websites.

On Sunday, there were 179 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Davidson County in total, with 151 cases still active. Twenty-seven people who had the new coronavirus have recovered.

One man has died from complications due to the new coronavirus and two others are being treated in the hospital.

The remaining 149 cases are self-isolating at home with mild and manageable symptoms.

Of all the cases, patients range in age from 11 to 73 years old.

Mayor John Cooper proclaimed Sunday as a city-wide day of prayer to "lift up all Nashville residents during this difficult time." The mayor and Dr. Jahangir spoke with more than 250 faith leaders in the county, urging all houses of worship to suspend in-person services.

Earlier in the week, all Davidson County restaurants were closed to dine-in customers. Bars and gyms have also closed. Mayor Cooper encouraged Nashvillians to support local businesses during this time by ordering take-out.

Metro Nashville has launched a website to keep residents informed on COVID-19 cases in Davidson County. COVID19.Nashville.Gov will provide new information as it becomes available.


See all our coronavirus coverage here


What is COVID-19 (a.k.a. the new coronavirus?)

According to the World Health Organization, coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases. Examples include the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV)and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans. COVID-19 stands for "Coronavirus disease 2019," which is when this strain of the coronavirus was discovered.

What are the symptoms?

The CDC says patients confirmed to have the 2019-nCoV reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

Or at least two of the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

At this time, the CDC believes symptoms could appear as soon as two days after exposure, or as long as 14 days.


The CDC is recommending "common sense" measures such as:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.