Nashville Plans to Move to Phase Three of Post-COVID-19 Plan Monday, Mayor John Cooper Says

Nashville Mayor John Cooper announced Thursday that the city will enter the third of its four announced phases of reopening after the COVID-19 pandemic struck the United States.

Cooper announced this at a press conference.

“Today’s [COVID-19) case count is 67. That is an improvement over the past several days. Our case count remains slightly elevated, but in consultation with our public health experts we will continue to examine our public health data with the goal of entering Phase Three on Monday,” Cooper said.

“This decision has been made in the interests of protecting all Nashvillians. Our workers and our residents and to protect our long-standing reputation for safety, which is instrumental to the vitality of our tourism and hospitality industries. We responded early to the pandemic, a new disease with new challenges. Through experience, we are learning what to do and what not to do. Since the roadmap was first announced your feedback has been vital to help make important updates to improve our phased reopening plan as we learn together.”

Cooper said that as of Monday Nashville will have stayed in Phase Two for 28 days.

“Over the course of those four weeks we have learned valuable lessons to keep Nashvillians safe and inform our decisions moving forward. Once we start on Phase Three the prudent course of action will be to remain in Phase Three for a similar amount of time through two complete cycles of potential transmission of the disease. To learn and to make any course corrections necessary to maintain our economic reopening without having to revert to an earlier phase,” Cooper said.

“Through contact tracing we have learned that proximity, especially in an enclosed spaces with limited public health measures in place, can have a profound effect on the spread of the virus, which is why in Phase Three the event space venues and small music venues may open but must cap maximum event attendance to about a half of capacity or 250 attendees, depending on the venue capacity — but people still have to wear masks.”

As The Tennessee Star reported last week, Nashville was not yet ready to move on to Phase Three of its planned four-phased reopening after COVID-19 because of what’s happening in Southeast Davidson County.

As  The Star reported in April, Southeast Nashville has many diverse communities and has also had the highest cluster of COVID-19 as far back as April.

As The 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.

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.

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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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