Nashville saw its largest surge in COVID-19 cases yet, a rise of 771 new cases in the past day, officials said Tuesday morning. And that’s contributing to an 18% positive rate among the thousands tested recently.
Mayor John Cooper said the city would not be advancing to Phase 3 anytime soon.
“The numbers that we are seeing make it clear that we will not be able to leave our modified Phase 2,” Cooper said. “We need to flatten the curve and that will require compliance with health protocols.”
The city’s modified Phase 2 began July 2. The state also reported a record number of Covid-19 cases, with more than 3,300 in the past day.
Thirteen cities and states now restrict travelers from Tennessee, due to the high rate of infection. Those include Chicago, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Vermont, New Mexico, Connecticut, Alaska, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.
Chair of Metro Health, Dr. Alex Jahangir implored Nashvillians to wear masks to contain the spread of the virus.
“This isn’t about politics; this isn’t about young or old. This is about our health, it’s about our safety and it’s about our economic future. Again, what works is wearing masks,” he said.
Dr. Jahangir stressed how dangerous the virus is for those 65 years and older. In Nashville there is a 10.5 percent mortality rate for residents over 65 who come down with the virus, he said. “We need a regional, a state and maybe a national response,” he added.
A spokesman for the health department said it had issued 48 civil warrants at business where employees were out of compliance with the city’s mask ordinance. That does not include enforcement by Metro Police.
Hospitalizations are down, officials said, with the hospital bed capacity hovering around 25%. “We are good right now,” Dr. Jahangir said. “I feel very comfortable with the plan that’s out there…But I wouldn’t let down our guard.”