Vanderbilt Researcher: Nashville's success against COVID-19 in recent days is 'fragile'

May 19, 2020

Credit vumc.org

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Mike Osborne)  --  Researchers tracking Nashville’s COVID-19 stats say it’s still too early to know if loosening the city’s “Safer-at-Home" restrictions will result in a second wave of new infections.

Dr. Melissa McPheeters specializes in Biomedical Informatics in Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Department of Health Policy. She’s a member of the Vanderbilt Modeling Team for the Tennessee COVID-19 outbreak.

Dr. McPheeters told reporters on Monday that Nashville’s’ coronavirus stats are headed in the right direction. She noted, for example, that the city’s infection rate has fallen just below a one-to-one ratio. This suggests the number of new infections is no longer growing.

However, noting that the virus has a week’s long incubation period, Dr. McPheeter stressed that it’s still too early to know if Nashville’s Phase One restart might spark a second wave of infections, hospitalizations and deaths.

Dr. McPheeter applauded the city for essentially fighting the virus to a standoff. But she warned that success is “fragile” and “any single new case” could spark another infection “wildfire.”

You can watch Dr. McPheeter's complete presentation in this video beginning at the 17 minute mark.