NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WZTV) —Davidson County's Safer at Home Order has been extended through at least May 1, with hopes to reopen the economy in phases starting in early May.
Nashville Mayor John Cooper said the city's reopening is critical to the region, so that we can earn consumer confidence for businesses to help reboot the economy. He explained that the decision to lift the order will be data driven, but ultimately in the hands of Nashville residents through their efforts and behaviors when it comes to social distancing.
The city is basing their reopening phase dates on three factors: the infection rate of transmission, 14-day trends, amount of testing and personal protective equipment.
To reopen, Nashville needs an infection rate of transmission of less than one, meaning each individual with COVID-19 does not infect more than one other person in Davidson County. Epidemiologists will then need a 14-day trend of downward case totals, along with adequate testing opportunities and a comfortable amount of personal protective equipment to give the green light. Dr. Jahangir said so far, the data is in our favor but we still need improvements.
Experts say to quicken this process, residents need to stay home when possible, wear face coverings and continue social distancing practices.
“A balanced approach is essential in reopening our economy and cannot come at the cost of our hard-earned progress of flattening the curve of COVID-19. Your efforts will largely determine the end of the Safer at Home Order," Mayor Cooper explained.
The Safer at Home Order was originally supposed to expire on April 24, but will now go through May 1 and could last longer.
Dr. Jahangir compared the decisions surrounding COVID-19 to flying an airplane. Like pilots, Metro officials are looking at different sets of metrics and channels to determine if they should fly a plane or keep it on the ground. If trends are looking positive, the order will be lifted and the economy will open back up.
With distancing guidelines, the Nashville economy is expected to begin reopening with retail and commercial businesses as well as restaurants. They hope to then allow certain elective outpatient procedures, gyms, entertainment and personal hygiene businesses. This could all be scaled back depending on what COVID-19 cases look like in the community.
As of Tuesday, there are 1,936 cases of coronavirus in Nashville, an increase of 33 patients since yesterday. However, Davidson County noticed a 25% spike in cases over the weekend.
The COVID-19 death toll in Davidson County has risen to 22. 987 people have recovered.
17,773 tests have been administered in Nashville. Of those, 10.7% have tested positive, 15,870 have received negative results.