Nashville Will Move on to Phase Two of its Plan to Reopen City’s Economy

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Nashville will move to the second of its four-phased plan on Monday to reopen the city’s economy after COVID-19 shut it down for two months.

Cooper announced this at a press conference Thursday.

“All public health metrics tied to the roadmap indicate that Nashville is ready to carefully begin Phase Two. Restaurants and bars serving food, retail stores, and other commercial businesses can open to 75 percent of capacity,” Cooper said.

“Live music, a hallmark of Nashville establishments, can return to local restaurants and bars in a similarly phased format but with restrictions to gatherings of no more than 25 people. Additionally, personal appearance businesses, including hair and nail salons, day camps, amusement and attraction venues and museums can open at 50 percent capacity.”

Alex Jahangir, who chairs Davidson County’s Metro Coronavirus Task Force, said at Thursday’s press conference that Nashville had 4,530 confirmed COVID-19 cases, an increase of 26 over the preceding 24 hours.

“[Exactly] 1,368 cases are active, and 3,111 residents have recovered and have been cleared. We did have a death yesterday, a 90-year-old woman with underlying health conditions. We now have 51 Nashvillians who have died as a result of COVID-19,” Jahangir said.

“The 14-day rolling average of new cases is flat. The transmission rate is under one. We have built a public health capacity to meet our goals and our hospital capacity is stable and in satisfactory range. We are confident the hospital capacity is sufficient should we experience a sudden spike in hospitalizations.”

As The Tennessee Star reported last month, Cooper issued a four-phased plan to reopen Nashville’s economy.

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.

Jahangir said at the time 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.

This is a big day for Nashville. Our community working together to stay safe in Phase One allows us to move forward to Phase Two. Nashville will start phase on Monday, May 25. For more on our roadmap visit Covid19.nashville.gov.

Posted by Mayor John Cooper on Thursday, May 21, 2020

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “John Cooper” by John Cooper

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