Nashville’s mayor is using phrases like “very soon” and “just around the corner” to describe when students of Metro Nashville Public Schools will again have an in-person option.
Both Mayor John Cooper and Dr. Alex Jahangir, who chairs the city’s coronavirus task force, say it’s time for that return — and that they are hopeful for a broader reopening than just elementary students.
“I do think schools should reopen with the protocols and the resources that are needed,” Jahangir says, referencing similar statements from two pediatric infectious disease specialists who are his colleagues at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
This week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released data to show schools do not seem to contribute significantly to the spread of the coronavirus. Teachers in Tennessee have already begun receiving the COVID vaccine in some counties, though not in Nashville, where they’re scheduled to start in February.
“MNPS is fundamentally in charge of its own reopening schedule,” Cooper says, noting that the positive trends in Nashville are relative. “In this optimistic moment, we also have to look back and acknowledge the terrible numbers that to some extent we still have.”