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Councilwoman works to reduce COVID-19 in Southeast Nashville hotspot

Posted at 10:07 PM, Jun 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-25 08:45:23-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn (WTVF) — As the cases of COVID-19 continue to climb in Nashville, it’s clear that certain areas of the city are being hit the hardest.

Mayor John Cooper announced last week, the level of cases in Southeast Nashville warrants further attention, and he has instructed the Metro Public Health Department to concentrate its efforts there.

The concern for past and present cases got council members like Joy Styles to use her Wednesday evening to pass out free face masks in her district.

“We have a lot of frontline workers out here. We also have a lot of multi-generational living; so if you are working say in a warehouse or a factory, you have your mother and your grandparents and maybe some children,” said Syles.

Styles represents the 32nd district. It consists of zip code 37211, where the city's recent COVID-19 heat map shows many cases are coming from. The map shows more than 50% of new cases have come from her district and others in the southeast portion of the city.

“What we all need to be doing right now is being vigilant, continuing to live our lives, we’re outside as you and I are standing right now but we need to have our mask on,” Styles said.

She also says more resources need to be made available to the area to help people get tested. Currently, there is only one COVID-19 testing site in South Nashville.

“If someone is having difficulty getting from Nolensville Road over to Murfreesboro Road, then let's figure out where you are, call the mobile testing site and let's set that up for a day.”

Along with testing, Styles told NewsChannel 5 a new committee is being formed, consisting of lawmakers and community members to make sure specific neighborhoods get what they need.

“What we’re getting ready to do is start a committee to talk about how are things being messaged in the southeast. It’s crucial that we start reaching all these communities," said Styles, "The Latino number of cases are going up, they're starting to surpass the black number of cases we have. We have both of those communities out here and we got to be vigilant and figure out how do we get the word out, what is the best way."

The councilwoman also has a bill on third reading July 7, to make mask-wearing in public places a requirement.