Mayor: Phased reopening of Nashville could begin in early May

Posted at 9:13 AM, Apr 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-22 14:35:24-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Nashville Mayor John Cooper says he hopes the reopening of Nashville can begin in early May. However, he said that decision will be driven by "hard data."

Gov. Bill Lee announced Monday that the state’s “Safer at Home” order will expire on April 30, but that excludes major cities like Nashville. Instead, Mayor Cooper said there will be a “phased” reopening of the city, which should begin in early May.

"Remember, a balanced approach is essential in reopening our economy and cannot come at the cost of our hard-earned progress in flattening the curve of COVID-19," said Cooper.

Watch the full briefing below:

Cooper said ending the "Safer at Home" order will depend on everyone maintaining social distancing measures. He said you should still stay home when possible and urged everyone to wear a face covering in public.

“Data and science will drive when we reopen, and we hope that will be in early May,” Dr. Alex Jahangir said.

They're looking at several metrics to determine the timing of the reopening, including the transmission rate, the 14-day trend line, public health capacity, testing capacity and PPE supply/hospital capacity.

"Our PPE supply and capacity are an important metric. We are at an adequate level and we’ll continue to moderate this. [Tuesday] morning, in Middle Tennessee, we have 42% availability of hospital beds, 72% of ventilators and a stable supply of masks, gowns and face shields. We are doing well in some areas [but] we need to see improvement in the 14-day trend. When it shows the virus is regressing, we’ll start phase one of plan," Jahangir added.

Jahangir said phase one will begin to open retail and commercial businesses, including restaurants, at limited capacity. There will be safety restrictions for customers and employees. Health care facilities will also be able to perform out-care procedures for selective patients.

Jahangir said the plan will have three additional phases, which will only start if the metrics show positive signs during the 14-day span.

More details of the plan will be announced Thursday.

Metro Public Health Department confirmed 1,936 total cases of COVID-19 in Nashville/Davidson County, an increase of 33 in the past 24 hours. Two additional deaths were reported.

Dr. Jahangir said the confirmed cases range in age from 2 months to 99 years. He said an 85-year old man and a 63-year old woman have died, bringing the county's death toll to 22. Both patients had underlying health conditions.

Of those who've tested positive, 987 individuals have recovered from the virus.

The MPHD COVID-19 Hotline received 372 calls on Monday, April 20, 2020.

Total number of cases: 1,936
Cases reported in the past 24 hours: 33

Cases by sex
Male: 894
Female: 882
Unknown: 160

Total cases by age

Total active cases

The Nashville COVID-19 heatmaps represents the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases that have been reported to the Metro Public Health Department. One is cumulative with data current through April 20, 2020, and the other includes data exclusively from the week ending on April 18, 2020. The darker red color on the maps indicates areas with higher numbers of cases.

On Monday, the Tennessee Department of Health confirmed 7,238 total cases and said 3,575 people have fully recovered from the virus.

Governor Bill Lee will allow the state's "Safer-at-Home" order to expire on April 30 with the most businesses in 89 counties allowed to re-open on May 1.

Current county-by-county numbers are available in the map below this story, updated daily after 2 p.m. These numbers may not add up the total number, as the daily reports from the Tennessee Department of Health often have dozens of cases that have yet been linked to a county.

Editor's Note: We are publishing updates to our COVID-19 count multiple times daily, but with a new story created each day to help track the growth of the virus in the state. Our latest reporting will always be at the top of our website at If this story is more than 24 hours old, (the date this story was published is available at the top of our story, just under the headline) please head to our homepage for our most accurate information.