2021 is off to an optimistic start in Nashville as the COVID-19 vaccine rollout is begins. The first phase of vaccinations includes essential health workers and first responders.

Although vaccines are being distributed, COVID cases in Nashville aren’t dropping yet. In fact, on Jan. 6th the United States lost the most lives from the pandemic in a single day yet with Tennessee being a hot spot for cases.

As of Jan. 7th, according to the Metro Public Health Department in Nashville, there are 6,767 active cases of the Coronavirus.

Davidson County’s reopening plan remains in stage three, as it has since Nov. 30, meaning that restaurants must operate at 50% capacity and must close at 10 p.m. Gatherings are also limited to eight people. More information can be found at https://www.asafenashville.org/roadmap-for-reopening-nashville-phase-3-guidance-and-resources/.

Even though Davidson County’s regulations haven’t changed since students left last semester, Lipscomb has added new requirements such as required COVID testing prior to students’ return to campus and surveillance testing.

Students were made aware of these changes in an email sent during the latter half of December.

Other Nashville area schools, Belmont and Vanderbilt, are not requiring students to get tested before returning to campus but are strongly encouraging them to do so, according to each school’s Return to Campus webpages.

Dr. Kevin Eidson, the director of Health and Wellness at Lipscomb, sent out an email to students with additional information about spring semester protocols.

“We must continue to be vigilant in following the basic COVID-19 protocols as outlined on the General Health Protocols…during the spring semester,” said Eidson. “If we all continue to work together, we will have another healthy semester.”

Lipscomb officials and Metro Public Health workers are hopeful that the vaccine rollout will be a smooth and fast-moving process. In the meantime, they are encouraging members of the community to do their part to keep everyone safe.

Image courtesy of the Tennessean
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