“If eight out of 10 Nashvillians were to faithfully abide by Metro’s face covering order, we could successfully avoid reverting back to earlier phases,” Nashville Mayor John Cooper said Thursday morning at his pandemic briefing.
The mayor is connecting his mask-wearing goal to a study that found that when at least 80% of the population wore a mask, it reduced the spread of the coronavirus and flattened the curve “significantly more” than even a total lockdown.
That model found 60,000 deaths in a mask-wearing society compared to 180,000 deaths in a lockdown without masks. You can find an interactive version of that research here.
Cooper asked people to wear masks and to keep the “three C’s” in mind.
“Which present us with a much higher risk of virus transmission … closed spaces, crowded places or close-contact settings.”
After Nashville reported its highest single-day case count earlier this week — and the state also reported a record high — Cooper said the city would stay in its revised Phase 2 of reopening.
On Thursday, the Metro Health Department reported 322 new cases and three deaths in the last 24 hours.
Cooper says a coordinated effort on “contact tracing, testing, supplies and policy making” is needed at all levels of government rather than the “patchwork of protocols and restrictions.”
Nashville issued its mask mandate last month. After Gov. Bill Lee extended the same autonomy to all Tennessee county governments, three out of the six counties sharing a border with Davidson have enacted mandates of their own.
“Success in a pandemic will require more than an every-county-for-itself approach,” Cooper says.
Enforcement of Nashville’s mandate began this week. In its first day on Wednesday, police issued verbal warnings rather than citations.