Metro Nashville declares state of emergency, announces community assessment centers for coronavirus screening

Mayor John Cooper has announced a state of emergency for Metro Nashville. (Dylan Skye Aycock/Community Impact Newspaper)
Mayor John Cooper has announced a state of emergency for Metro Nashville. (Dylan Skye Aycock/Community Impact Newspaper)

Mayor John Cooper has announced a state of emergency for Metro Nashville. (Dylan Skye Aycock/Community Impact Newspaper)

As cases of the novel coronavirus disease, also known as COVID-19, have risen to nearly 100 cases statewide, Mayor John Cooper has declared a state of emergency in Metro Nashville.

The order directs all Metro Nashville departments, agencies, boards and commissions to assist the Metro Nashville Board of Health to enforce public health orders, according to a release from Metro Nashville.

“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,” Cooper said in a statement. “Our [No. 1] 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.”

According to the order, the state of emergency will be in effect for seven days unless it is necessary to extend it through another executive order. The order also directs Metro Nashville Public Health's chief medical officer to update the mayor regularly on the likelihood of needing a curfew, a shelter-in-place order or restrictions on travel.

The city has also established a Metro Coronavirus Task Force, which is working to set up an assessment hotline for residents to call if they are feeling ill and has already launch a new website,, where residents can get live updates.

In addition to the declaration, Metro Nashville officials announced the city will set up six to nine Community Assessment Centers where residents can be assessed and, if needed, tested for coronavirus. The centers will be set up in partnership with five area health systems and two medical schools in the area. Locations for the centers have not yet been announced.

The latest update from the Tennessee Department of Health shows that as of March 18, more than 360 tests have beenconducted by the state’s public health laboratory, with more still conducted by commercial and private laboratories.

TDH has launched a hotline for residents to get more information on coronavirus at 877-857-2945.

Read the full executive order below.

By Wendy Sturges
A Houston native and graduate of St. Edward's University in Austin, Wendy Sturges has worked as a community journalist covering local government, health care, business and development since 2011. She has worked with Community Impact since 2015 as a reporter and editor and moved to Tennessee in 2019.


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