NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — On May 14, the Metro Public Health Department will lift all remaining COVID-19 restrictions except for one: the indoor mask mandate.
Metro Coronavirus Task Force Chair Dr. Alex Jahangir said the restrictions can be lifted for multiple reasons. Over the past two months, Davidson County's COVID-19 case count and transmission rate have held steady and hospitalizations are trending down. Also, 40% of Nashvillians have been vaccinated.
"Hospitalizations are way down. Cases have stayed stable for two months. We have a level of stability now in this city that is really important to emphasize," said Dr. Jahangir. "I'm proud of Nashville for helping us get to this point."
Beginning at 12 a.m. May 14, there will be no restrictions on gathering size or business capacity.
REOPENING UPDATE:— Mayor John Cooper (@JohnCooper4Nash) April 27, 2021
On Friday May 14th, all COVID-19 capacity limitations in Nashville will be lifted.
May 14th marks 6 weeks since the vaccine became available to all adults in Nashville. 6 weeks is the time needed to reach full immunity from the slowest of the 3 vaccines. pic.twitter.com/xD2wg6qvVR
Officials selected that particular date because it will be six weeks after everyone has had an opportunity to get a vaccine.
"Six weeks is important is that allows three to four weeks to pass for everyone to get a vaccine and then get a second dose, and then two weeks for everyone to become fully immune," Dr. Jahangir explained.
Face masks will still be required while indoors. And he says that's because masks are an effective way to continue to protect those who are not yet eligible to be vaccinated.
"Masks have been shown effective in minimizing the risk of spread, asymptomatic spread. So I'm vaccinated but I still may carry the virus, maybe somebody can't be vaccinated -- children. There's a huge bunch of the city that still can't get vaccinated because they're not eligible. We don't want to spread it to kids who can then spread it to others."
Kids from ages 12-15 could likely be vaccinated in Nashville as early as next month.
Mayor John Cooper calls the capacity updates a "transitional moment for Nashville" as the city focuses on vaccinations and economic recovery.