The Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency is reassuring its residents that COVID-19 testing is voluntary.
A spokesperson for the agency says tests are mandatory only for its employees.
Tennessee health leaders’ announcement last last week that the state would begin testing in public housing projects has drawn criticism from residents. A rumor that testing would be mandatory has become widespread, spurred by a longtime distrust of the medical industry.
Meanwhile, Meharry Medical College President James Hildreth encouraged residents to participate in vaccine trials during an online town hall hosted by the Nashville NAACP.
Hildreth says he wants to make sure all of Nashville’s high-risk populations are tested, and that it’s important for them to be included in drug studies to ensure that they would have access to medical advancements moving forward.
“I know that people will distrust the research enterprise. They might distrust medicine. But in this case it’s … important that we get involved in the vaccine studies,” said Hildreth.