White House task force report recommends 18 states, including Tennessee, should roll back reopening

Coronavirus blue background
Posted at 10:55 AM, Jul 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-17 12:22:42-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — An unpublished report that was obtained by the nonprofit newsroom Center for Public Integrity, prepared for the White House Coronavirus Task Force, recommends that 18 states – including Tennessee – consider rolling back reopening.

The 359-page document detailed Tennessee as being in a "red zone" because it had more than 100 new cases per 100,000 population last week. The report also said Tennessee is in the “yellow zone” for test positivity, meaning between 5% and 10% of tests came back positive.

The document said Shelby, Davidson and Rutherford counties have had the “highest number of new cases over the past three weeks" and make up 50% of new cases in the state.

The report recommends that states should have citizens wear a mask at all times, practice social distancing, states should close all bars and gyms, and limit social gatherings to 10 people.

Gov. Bill Lee has urged all Tennesseans to wear face masks and remain home when possible, but has not issued a statewide mask mandate. Earlier this month, Lee signed an executive order giving county mayors the authority to issue local mask requirements.

In Metro Nashville, it is required to wear a mask when in public, with a few exceptions. Downtown Nashville has consistently been a hotspot in the county for the spread of COVID-19 in the last few weeks.

The following states should consider scaling back reopening plans, according to CPI:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Iowa
  • Idaho
  • Kansas
  • Louisiana
  • Mississippi
  • North Carolina
  • Nevada
  • Oklahoma
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah

To read more of the report obtained by the Center for Public Integrity, click here.

The Scripps National desk contributed to this report.