Nashville will soon have no more limits on the size of gatherings, from restaurants to rock concerts. Tuesday morning, city health officials announced that starting May 14, capacity restrictions are a thing of the past.
Mid-May is six weeks after vaccinations opened to everyone, meaning most who’ve been vaccinated will have their full immunity.
“By us doing this, it’s not us saying mission accomplished,” says Dr. Alex Jahangir, the city’s coronavirus taskforce chair. “The public health emergency is still in effect. But we have to tone things down, and this still is a step-wise fashion.”
The city’s first public health order was implemented March 17, 2020. Each iteration is listed here.
Jahangir has been signaling for several weeks that he feels there’s less and less need to impose restrictions when highly effective vaccines are readily available. The city has even been offering walk-in vaccinations without appointments at the Music City Center, but it isn’t using half the doses allotted for those.
Mayor John Cooper had a goal of 50% of Nashville residents vaccinated by May 1, but the shots have slowed down with roughly 40% having at least one dose. Still, that’s a higher rate than all but a handful of Tennessee counties.
Nashville’s mask mandate will remain in effect for now, even though most other counties in the state are allowing them to expire.