Nashville Mayor John Cooper might not tweak his four-phased plan to reopen the city’s economy, even if it means bar owners on Lower Broadway have to wait a lot longer to reopen their businesses.
In other words, if Nashville’s COVID-19 numbers stay in a holding pattern then Cooper will apparently stick with the script. He might not deviate from previously announced plans.
Cooper seemed to suggest that at a press conference Wednesday.
The media asked Cooper to address bar owners in that section of Nashville. Cooper said he sympathized with the business owners and missed what they contribute to the city’s economy. Cooper would not directly say whether he might revise his plans. He seemed to stress safety first.
“We have to get back to work and get back to work as quickly as we can, but we also have to keep our staff and our customers safe,” Cooper said.
“I believe that we are proceeding in a very good direction to launch us into Phase One, but this is our learning time as a community, and that is how to do Phase One successfully. That will be PPE. That will be masks. That will be protocols that will be walking through with your employees on how to manage in Phase One.”
As The Tennessee Star reported, retail businesses will open in Phase One, and restaurants will have dine-in services, all at half-capacity with added guidelines and restrictions.
“Now, bars are not open in Phase One. As a restaurant serving food off of a menu with social distancing protocols that is possible. But that will, of course, be a challenge to be able to do that and not spread the disease as we learn how to work together to live with the presence of coronavirus as a constant danger in our community,” Cooper said.
“It will take good technique and good protocols to do it. I am excited that everybody open in a way that keeps everybody safe. Again, I urge them to consult with the public health department on any questions about protocol that might advance public safety.”
During Phase Two, businesses and restaurants can go to three-quarters capacity with certain guidelines. In Phase Three businesses and restaurants will go to full capacity. In addition, bars and entertainment venues will open at half capacity.
Bars and entertainment venues, meanwhile, will operate at full capacity in Phase Four.
Also at the press conference, Metro Coronavirus Task Force Chair Alex Jahangir said COVID-19 claimed the life of another Davidson County man, who was 55-years-old. County officials said the virus had killed 33 county residents as of Wednesday.
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