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Why is Nashville loosening pandemic restrictions when new case counts are so high?

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Mike Osborne)  --  Nashville’s loosened its coronavirus restrictions Monday, in spite of a recent surge in new infections.

Mayor John Cooper announced the change in a series of Twitter posts.

Bars and restaurants can now welcome up to 100 patrons at a time. Hair and nail salons, barbershops, tattoo parlors and other so-called “close contact” businesses are moving to 75 percent capacity.

Restrictions for most other businesses remain unchanged.

Metro’s seven day running average of new COVID-19 infections has actually fallen over the past week.

After peaking last week at 339 cases per day, the average had fallen by Monday to 204 cases per day. Compare those levels, however, to early October when the seven day average was under 80 new cases per day.

Metro health officials reported last week that, currently, contact tracing indicates the majority of new infections are contracted in the workplace and in small-group gatherings among family and friends, not in bars or restaurants.

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