NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Nashville has entered Phase Three on the Roadmap for Reopening effective Thursday.
Nashville Mayor John Cooper said during his weekly press conference on Thursday that the city is ready to host larger events. The press conference was held at the Music City Center.
“We can set the standard for hosting events with healthy habits,” said Cooper.
Metro Public Health Department reported 60 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday and one death.
Dr. Alex Jahangir, chairman of the Metro Coronavirus Task Force, said the city was at green (satisfactory) for five the eight metrics the city follows for reopening.
The city is currently in the yellow (less than satisfactory) for hospital capacity (14% available in Middle Tennessee), ICU beds (13% availability) and new cases per 100,000 residents (14,73 per 100,000 residents).
The move to Phase Three means restaurants and bars can open at 50% capacity with up to 100 people allowed per floor and outside area, such as a rooftop bar. The businesses must still close at 11 p.m.
Larger venues can now reopen with a maximum capacity of 500 people. These facilities must have approval from Metro Public Health before hosting an event.
The city also said it will not intervene with the NFL on handling capacity at Titans’ games at Nissan Stadium. The NFL announced Thursday Tennessee’s home game against Pittsburgh originally set for Sunday has been postponed and will be rescheduled later in the season.
“This is not unexpected,” said Cooper. “I think we can go forward with our plan when the team and the NFL make their decision regarding the game.”
The NFL announced Thursday a fifth Titans player and a sixth employee of the organization have tested positive for COVID-19.
The city and Titans announced last week that around 7,000 people would have been allowed to attend Sunday’s Steelers game. The number of fans would increase to 12.5% of capacity the following week against Buffalo. It is not known how Sunday’s postponement will affect the capacity allowed going forward.
The city hopes to rebuild its convention and tourism business. Many convention centers, like the Music City Center, have been impacted by the pandemic. Airport traffic is at 62% of normal, which Cooper said is better than other airports.
“It’s important to create a safe environment for locals and visitors,” said Cooper.
The mayor said Tennessee has moved off the COVID-19 hot spot list “thanks to our restrictions.” He cited the efforts of Nashville and Shelby County in helping remove the state from the list.
The removal from the hot spot list should ease travel to and from Tennessee from other states.
Metro Public Health is also changing the times for the COVID-19 assessment centers would be changing next week.
Beginning Monday, Oct. 5, the tests will be available weekdays from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. at Nissan Stadium Lot N, Meharry Medical Center and the former Kmart location at 2491 Murfreesboro Pike.
According to the Office of Emergency Management, the hours were changed as a result of feedback from clients about convenience of getting testing and for the change in the time of the sunrise/sunset.
For Thursday and Friday of this week, testing hours will continue to be 7 a.m.-1 p.m.