Nashville’s top health officials say this week will be “super critical” in determining how quickly the city continues to reopen. And they’re watching three key stats.
The first is a 14-day average of new cases. Some days are still high. Some are low, but the rolling average has been headed slowly down.
The second is the rate at which the total case count is doubling. In the early days, the number of cases doubled every few days. That slowed down and plateaued around doubling every 16 days. But now the doubling has increased to 22 days.
And third, the number of tests that turn out to be positive has dropped below 10%. Since it’s not just sick people getting tested, that shows there’s plenty of testing available. The figure is still higher than the statewide average which is closer to 6%, but 10% is considered a good threshold for reopening nationally.
These charts for Davidson County are updated regularly on the city’s “Roadmap to Reopening” site. Dr. Alex Jahangir, chair of the board of health, says he will be watching all three stats this week as Nashville decides whether to move into Phase 2 and further loosen restrictions, as the state has done in most counties — or if the city should brake.
“So if all three of those things start heading the wrong way, I think you’ve got to stop,” he says.
Right now, the trend lines look favorable, Jahangir says. But he’s spent the last week trying to explain why some national analyses looking at Nashville are flawed.
“The raw numbers I get are the only numbers I trust,” he says.