NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - As Nashville moves to Phase Three on its Roadmap for Reopening, the Grand Ole Opry will be able to resume performances with an audience present.
Mayor John Cooper said Thursday morning from the Opry's stage that 500 people could attend the Grand Ole Opry's 95th Anniversary show on Saturday, Oct. 3.
Cooper said during the press conference the Opry has "pioneered" virtual performances with its beginnings 95 years ago as a radio show.
The mayor announced last week that the county would move into Phase Three on the Roadmap for Reopening Nashville beginning Thursday, Oct. 1.
"Beginning next week, we go into phase three on our roadmap for reopening Nashville. We are reopening as quickly as safe capacity happens," Cooper said.
The seven-day average for new COVID-19 cases in Davidson County has dropped to 14.6 cases per 100,000 residents. The health department announced 105 new cases and two deaths on Thursday.
"We should be proud. We wet form Number one worst to 75th in the state," Cooper said about the coronavirus' spread in Davidson County.
"We've come a long way," said Dr. Alex Jahangir, chair of the Metro Nashville Coronavirus Task Force. "We must remain vigilant."
Jahangir said there are currently 108 people being treated for coronavirus in Nashville-area hospitals.
The move to Phase Three next week also means restaurants can continue to offer dine-in service at 50% capacity, resume seated-only service at bars and seat parties up to eight persons at a table. Limited service restaurants and bars may operate at 50% capacity with social distancing, up to a maximum of 100 people on each floor and an additional 100 people per outdoor space. All restaurants and bars must close at 11 p.m.
Transpotainment vehicles can resume operation at 50% capacity or a maximum of 15 people. Live entertainment is permitted, but dance floors remain closed. Curbside and to-go alcohol sales and open containers remain banned in the Midtown and Downtown areas.
Retail stores and commercial businesses may continue at 75% capacity. Employees must be screened daily and wear masks.
No personal gatherings over 25 is allowed. Weddings, funerals and similar ceremonies can resume at 1/3 capacity or 500 people. Masks are required.
Last week Cooper announced the Tennessee Titans and Nashville Soccer Club could play with a reduced capacity beginning in October.
Many of the surrounding counties have ended its mask mandates. Gov. Bill Lee's Executive Order allowing counties to make the decision on whether to have a mask mandate ends at the end of September.
Jahangir said he believes regional mask compliance is "critical," whether it's businesses demanding compliance or a mandate.
Jahangir said he foresees a mask mandate remaining in Davidson County until there is a vaccine.
"Not until there's a vaccine that's reducing infections," Jahangir said about ending the mask mandate.