NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Mayor John Cooper announced Thursday during a press conference that Nashville would revert to Phase Two with modifications on the Roadmap for Reopening effective July 3.
Today, I announced we will return to Phase 2 with modifications starting July 3. To slow the spread of #COVID19 and prioritize the health and safety of Nashvillians, we made specific modifications by reviewing our data from contact tracing. Learn more at https://t.co/0pJXgPi0hQ. pic.twitter.com/fMXHfK4uR5— Mayor John Cooper (@JohnCooper4Nash) July 2, 2020
Metro Public Health announced Thursday there were 608 new cases of COVID-19 in Davidson County, the highest number reported in a single day.
As part of the rollback, bars must now remain closed for 14 days, after the city says its investigating 30 COVID-19 cases linked to 10 different bars.
Restaurants will now operate dine-in service at half capacity, a reduction from the 75 percent capacity allowed during Phase Three.
No gatherings of 25 people or more will be permitted.
Cooper also announced he has asked the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp to cancel Saturday's planned fireworks in downtown Nashville.
As of Friday, violators of Metro's mask mandate will also be subject to civil and criminal penalties including a Class C misdemeanor, which carries up to a 30-day jail sentence, a fine of $50, or both.
Mayor John Cooper's full statement:
“Nashville faces another challenge in a season of challenges. Our Phase Three has not been effective. We are going to go back to what we know is effective in slowing the spread of the disease.
“Beginning Friday, July 3rd, and for the next several weeks at least, Nashville will revert to a ‘Phase Two with modifications’ of the ‘Roadmap for Reopening Nashville.’
“The modified plan is tailored on what we’ve learned through contact tracing investigations over the past several weeks. It is in response to sharp recent case increases and clustering of cases.
“Four of our six health metrics for Reopening Nashville are green. Our transmission rate is yellow, between 1.03 to 1.16, but our 14-day rolling daily case average is red. Today’s new confirmed case count is 608, a record daily high for Davidson County. This means we have to respond as a community to get us back on track.
“It is clear that adding any public health risk is inappropriate for Nashville at this time. So, we’ve directed the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corporation to cancel its fireworks display on Saturday evening.
“New cases are rising in 36 states – unfortunately, including here in Tennessee. We stated at the outset of our phased economic reopening, a spike in cases would result in the public health decision to impose more restrictions on our reopening, and we are.
“In this modified next phase, many socially-driven businesses and activities that opened in Phase Three will be temporarily closed, including event venues and entertainment venues. To be clear, our limit on gathering size is 25. And restaurants will move back from 75 percent capacity to 50 percent capacity, as permitted in Phase One. It’s worth noting that Nashville’s rate of confirmed cases did decline while bars and restaurants operated at 50 percent capacity in May.
“Metro Parks facilities opened in Phase Three will remain open, including dog parks, skate parks, basketball courts, and playgrounds. And recreational leagues and pools will still be permitted, as outbreaks have not been traced back to these venues or activities. Of course, we urge you to practice safe social distancing around swimming pools this weekend.
“Additionally, all bars in Davidson County, known as ‘limited service restaurants’ that derive the majority of their revenue from alcohol sales, will close for a minimum of 14 days beginning tomorrow, which is equal to one incubation cycle of the coronavirus.
“By observing our public health orders, maintaining a safe social distance from one another, and wearing a face covering whenever possible, we can limit the spread of the disease and help protect each other.
“Every one of us has an individual and societal responsibility to slow the spread of the coronavirus. It’s up to all of us to stem the tide of this disease so that we can continue our economic recovery while saving lives.”
The Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp. released a statement about the cancellation:
“After putting together a small July 4th celebration that prioritized the health and safety of our city, we have decided to cancel the short fireworks show we had planned for downtown to broadcast on NewsChannel 5. While we are disappointed, the significant increase in COVID cases this week made it clear that we needed to take any steps possible to discourage crowds from gathering.”
Dr. Adrienne Battle, Director of Metro Nashville Public Schools, issued a statement in response to Cooper’s announcement that Nashville will be returning to a modified Phase Two:
“The announcement by Mayor Cooper today puts into greater focus the reality that COVID-19 is still very much a public health threat and is going to be a factor in our lives for the foreseeable future. Planning for the 2020-21 school year has been underway for months, with our teams meeting all day every day this week to finalize policies and protocols that will allow us to successfully open Aug. 4.
“Our goal has been to offer in-person classes and virtual options for those families who want it, but we will also be prepared for the possibility that in-person classes can’t happen at the start of the school year due to COVID-19. Whichever scenario we are in, offering a rigorous, high-quality education with explicit expectations and requirements is a non-negotiable. We plan to do so in a way that addresses the social-emotional needs of our students and recognizes the difficulty and challenges that these times have presented to our families and staff.”
Further details about plans for the reopening of schools will be shared next week.
Davidson County’s 14-day new case trend has risen from 131 over a 14-day period ending June 24 to more than 230 in the 14-day period ending Thursday. The transmission rate has also risen to 1.1. A transmission rate of 1.0 means that each person who has the virus passes it to one other person.
Nashville 14-day new case trend
Source: Metro Public Health Department