With the rapid increase of the Delta variant, and in accordance with CDC and recommendations, face coverings will be required inside Metro Government buildings beginning today, Thursday, August 5.
MAyor John Cooper’s office released the following press release:
While we wait for some of our neighbors to catch up and join the majority of Nashvillians who are already vaccinated, Metro Government is announcing an additional measure to protect public health. With the rapid increase of the Delta variant, and in accordance with CDC and Metro Public Health recommendations, face coverings will be required inside Metro Government buildings beginning Thursday, August 5.
The Delta variant has led to the beginning of a third wave of COVID-19 cases, with the number of active cases now standing at 2,718, compared to 444 one month ago. The percentage of positive tests is currently higher than 11 percent, compared to less than 2 percent in June. Meanwhile, 53.6 percent of Davidson County’s population has received at least one shot of the vaccine, compared to 57.9 percent nationally and 44.8 percent in Tennessee. Metro’s masking policy will be re-evaluated on an ongoing basis as disease rates decline and vaccination levels improve.
“Vaccinations are our best tool for ending the pandemic,” Mayor Cooper said. “If you’ve been on the sidelines, waiting, now is your time to get vaccinated. Our Public Health Department has a vaccine waiting for you so you can protect your health and your family’s health.”
Metro Government is reimplementing masking inside Metro buildings to protect the public and city employees so Metro can continue to deliver quality services to residents. This requirement does not apply to private businesses, which are always encouraged to consider the health and wellbeing of their employees and customers as they decide what safety measures make sense in their particular situations.
Consistent with CDC evidence of transmission by vaccinated persons, face coverings will be required for both unvaccinated and vaccinated individuals while inside Metro buildings.
The executive order applies to both Metro employees, as well as members of the public. Masks are not expected to be worn if an employee is working in their individual workstation or while outdoors. Metro Government joins Shelby County, Hamilton County and the City of Knoxville in requiring masks inside city buildings. Notably, the University of Tennessee system will also require masks indoors on all its campuses. Due to TSA regulations, WeGo and BNA will continue to require masks.