Nashville Mayor John Cooper on Thursday issued a four-phased plan to reopen Nashville’s economy after the COVID-19 pandemic grounded it to a halt, and he said the first phase could start within a few weeks.
Each of the four phases contains metrics that will determine when certain parts of the city’s economy will reopen, Cooper said at a press conference.
“These include triggers that could require us all to revert to an earlier phase of the plan to protect our community and ensures that area health providers do not become overwhelmed by a spike in COVID-19 cases. Every Nashvillian feels an urge to return to business as normal. Many livelihoods depend on it,” Cooper said.
“But everyone, business owners, employees, and customers should trust that places of business, schools, and all venues throughout Nashville are safe. Consumer confidence lies at the heart of our economy. A safe rollout must be data-driven, not purely date-driven. This is essential to avoid a false start, which would simply prolong the economic effects of the coronavirus in Davidson County.”
According to ASafeNashville.org, for each of the four phases Nashville is in, city officials will only advance to the next phase if the area meets one of two benchmarks. The website said either the number of COVID-19 cases in Davidson County must remain stable or the number must decline over a 14-day period.
Alex Jahangir, who chairs Davidson County’s Metro Coronavirus Task Force, said at Thursday’s press conference that city officials will slow the process down “if something worrisome presents in those metrics.”
According to Jahangir, the four phases involve the following:
• In Phase One retail businesses will open and restaurants will have dine-in services, all at half-capacity and added guidelines and restrictions and operations will be present. Employees will be screened daily to ensure that they are symptom free and they will be required to wear cloth face coverings. Other public gatherings will be limited to 10 people or less. Everyone out in public should wear cloth masks and, if you are able, still work from home.
• In Phase Two, businesses and restaurants can go to three-quarters capacity with certain guidelines. In addition, personal hygiene businesses like hair and nail salons will open but only for appointments, no walk-ins, and limited to 10 people inside the building at one time. Playgrounds, tennis courts, and basketball courts will open. Other public gatherings, including worship services, will be limited to 50 people and with adherence to strict physical distancing protocols.
• In Phase Three businesses and restaurants will go to full capacity. In addition, bars and entertainment venues will open at half capacity. Gyms and fitness facilities will open. Other gatherings will be limited to 100, again with adherence to strict physical distancing protocols.
• In Phase Four, bars and entertainment venues will be at full capacity, and sport venues will open with adherence to physical distancing protocols and best practices
As The Tennessee Star reported Wednesday, Leslie Waller, an epidemiologist with the Metro Nashville Public Health Department, said that in recent weeks most of the new cases in Nashville have shifted geographically.
“Most of our new cases are now clustered in the southeastern part of the county,” Waller said.
“Communities that call it home are numerous and diverse, and they work in a number of essential service jobs.”
Mayor Cooper addresses public regarding public health
Posted by Mayor John Cooper on Thursday, April 23, 2020
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