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Updated Guidance for Public Gatherings and Events in Nashville Davidson County

3/12/2020

The Metro Public Health Department is updating its guidance today with respect to large gatherings of people in Nashville and Davidson County based on evidence from the progression of COVID-19 in the United States and elsewhere, and on recently updated CDC guidance.

At this time MPHD is not requiring closures or cancellations but does want the community to be aware of risks that can be mitigated or avoided with reasonable precautions. MPHD is monitoring the situation carefully and this guidance may be updated at any time.

Because the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has expanded its guidance for the protection of high-risk groups, MPHD calls on the community to consider carefully the implications of holding meetings or events involving large numbers of people (roughly speaking, 100 or so), particularly if the group is likely to include a substantial subset of high-risk individuals. MPHD further calls on all medically fragile citizens to avoid crowds and take other actions to protect their health. The CDC’s guidance for high-risk individuals can be found here:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/high-risk-complications.html

  • Adults over 60 years old, OR
  • People of any age with serious chronic medical conditions such as: Heart disease, diabetes, or lung disease.

Anyone who meets the definition of high-risk is encouraged to access the above link, and review and follow the CDC’s guidance.

MPHD encourages all meeting organizers and organizations to be aware of these risks as well, and to take reasonable steps for the protection of our most vulnerable citizens. Meeting organizers should look for alternative ways for people to participate if possible; by teleconference, for example, or in some other remote fashion. Churches could consider actions to protect their at-risk members.

Organizers of gatherings of any size should carefully assess the necessity of the meeting itself. If there are high-risk attendees, does the meeting have to be now? Or, can the attendance list be narrowed to an essential minimum, or can teleconferencing, video conferencing or other means be used to allow remote participation by at-risk members?

When meetings are held, all attendees should observe basic precautions. Do NOT go if you are sick. Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, for at least 20-30 seconds. Cough or sneeze into a tissue or sleeve. Do not greet others with a handshake. In the venue itself, organizers should strive to scatter seating within the available space, so that people can maintain some distance between themselves and others.

If you have a friend or loved one in a long-term care facility (a nursing home) please remember these buildings house some of the most vulnerable people in the community; also know that many of them may not be allowing visitors, so check before going. Consider communicating with your loved one by phone, or a handwritten letter, or text or email. If you feel you must visit them in person, and the home allows it, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly as close to arrival as possible; try not to touch hard surfaces unnecessarily, and try to interact with as few residents as possible while there.