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COVID-19 transmission rate lower than 1 in Nashville, no reopening date set

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WZTV) —Metro leaders insist they are monitoring multiple metrics to determine when Nashville can begin phase one of Mayor Cooper's reopening plan.

The benchmarks of the plan include: stable or decline in COVID-19 cases average over a 14-day period, adequate testing and PPE supplies, low transmission rates of one or under and an increase in capacity to conduct contact tracing.

Over the past two days, Nashville has seen an increase of 312 new cases of coronavirus since Friday morning. That increase negatively impacts Metro's 14-day trend.

The trend has gone from flat to slightly increasing, according to Chair of the Metro Coronavirus Task Force Dr. Alex Jahangir. Models released from Vanderbilt on Friday show a transmission rate of under one, 0.9.

Jahangir called the low rate a satisfactory range for reopening along with Nashville's current amount of contact tracing, testing and hospital capacity, and personal protective equipment.

Nashville health officials are hoping for an early May start to phase one of reopening, but they are not ready to set a date.

While it's encouraging news, the reopening of surrounding counties may have a negative impact on Nashville's numbers. Mayor Cooper expressed concerns about the reopening protocols of other counties potentially creating a second wave of cases.

“Your obligation to socially distance does not end at the county line,” Cooper urged.

Metro representatives explained that their plan is not to limit people, but to keep people safe by going with the data and not a date.

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