Evidence shows mask wearing may be paying off in Nashville, researchers say

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WZTV) —There's new evidence that mask wearing in response to the coronavirus may be paying off in Nashville.

That's according to researchers with the Vanderbilt Microbiome Initiative.

One indicator that adherence to Music City's mask mandate is trending in the right direction is a lower 7-day moving average. Researchers say in the past two weeks, there was no new daily spike. Nashville's mask mandate went into effect in late June.

Nashville's testing capacity remains "strong and robust," researchers note as there's been 162,091 tests conducted as of Monday.

The positivity rate sits at 12.4% with 20,154 positive COVID-19 tests.

"As always, THANK YOU to the health care frontline who take risks to take care of us," VUBiome tweeted.

Meanwhile, as of Monday Nashville is seeing a decrease in hospital bed capacity. Officials report 12% of ICU beds are available and 17% of floor beds are available - both below the goal of 20%.