Mayor John Cooper has signed Executive Order #6, which declares an immediate state of emergency throughout Metropolitan Nashville and Davidson County and enhances Metro Government’s ability to respond to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) as provided under Tennessee state law and Metro code.
The Mayor’s Office, Metro Public Health Department, and the Metro Coronavirus Task Force continue to work closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Tennessee Department of Health (TDH), and area healthcare providers to closely monitor and respond to the virus.
“A coordinated response is the most effective response, and a declaration of emergency provides Metro Government and all our local partners with responsible but rapid resourcing and decision-making capabilities to overcome the challenge of the coronavirus,” said Mayor Cooper. “Our number one priority is to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of the community. Just as the federal government, governor’s office, and local health department have declared states of emergency to prevent the spread of this virus and help those who have been afflicted, Nashville must use this declaration as a valuable tool to protect all our residents.”
“I’m grateful to Mayor Cooper, our first responders, and all Metro employees who have been working round-the-clock for weeks,” said Director Chief William Swann of the Office of Emergency Management and Nashville Fire Department. “We are now in the final stages of adding Metro’s COVID-19 response activation at the Emergency Operations Center, which has been fully activated since 2:00 AM on March 3rd as part of Metro’s tornado response and recovery strategy, to augment the resources already available to Nashville residents through local clinics and hospitals.”
The Mayor’s executive order also directs all Metro departments, agencies, boards, and commissions to assist the Board of Health and the Chief Medical Director in enforcing their public health emergency declaration and orders.
The Metro Coronavirus Task Force is working with area healthcare providers to set up an assessment hotline that residents should call if they are feeling ill. A healthcare professional will answer residents’ calls and ask a series of questions. If the resident is exhibiting symptoms, they will be directed to visit a Community Assessment Center or contact their personal healthcare provider.
In partnership with the five health systems and two medical schools in Nashville, the Coronavirus Task Force is working to set up between six to nine Community Assessment Centers across the county that will be staffed by personnel from local hospitals and medical schools. At these centers, residents will be assessed further and, if determined necessary, be tested for COVID-19. Details on the locations of Community Assessment Centers and the Assessment Hotline will be announced soon.
Dr. Alex Jahangir, Chair of the Metro Board of Health and Metro Coronavirus Task Force, is devoting his full time in the Mayor’s Office, where he is working closely with public health officials and area hospitals to support the administration’s citywide COVID-19 monitoring and response strategy until further notice.