A group of doctors today called on Nashville Mayor John Cooper and the Metro Health Department to issue a temporary, indoor masking requirement in order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
Dr. Katrina Green, joined by medical colleagues, business owners and Metro Nashville citizens, united in their call for the temporary indoor masking protections that proved effective last year in keeping Nashville safe, and open for business.
Dr. Green, who practices in Lawrenceburg and in Nashville, noted that in the last two months, as the COVID crisis has worsened and hospitals have filled up, she has experienced the frustration of being unable to get the care needed for her patients because hospitals are stretched to capacity.
“When the COVID infections peaked here in Nashville, in December, we had an indoor mask requirement, limits on gatherings, and capacity limits for restaurants and bars,” said Dr. Green. “Currently we have no such safety measures in place for the vast majority of the city.”
Dr. Green noted that the Metro Council currently has a resolution urging the Metro Department of Public Health to issue a universal indoor masking requirement. “Unfortunately there was no mask requirement resulting from that meeting,” continued Dr. Green. “Instead, the board deferred to Dr. Wright, our metro public health director. A few days later, he released a letter stating he would only pass a mask mandate if the hospitals were completely overrun with COVID patients. I wholeheartedly disagree with Dr. Wright, as do many of my fellow frontline healthcare workers.”
Dr. Green further noted, “He must not know how bad things really are in our hospitals right now. It’s been a year and a half of nonstop pandemic and our healthcare workers are incredibly fatigued, many of them burning out completely. It is irresponsible to wait until our healthcare system completely implodes to pass a common sense mitigation measure. Lives are at stake.”
Joining Dr. Green on screen were physicians, business owners, attorneys and Nashville constituents who had also signed the open letter. Physician colleagues who assisted in reading the letter were:
- Dr. Diana Sepehri-Harvey, Family Medicine
- Dr. Lauren Taylor, Emergency Medicine
- Dr. Mary Jane Brown, Emergency Medicine
- Dr. Stacey Vallejo, Intensive Care