NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Mayor John Cooper announced Nashville will enter into Phase Three of the Reopening Plan on Monday.
The announcement came on Thursday morning. One of the biggest changes is that small music venues will now be allowed to open at 50 percent capacity.
Phase Three will allow the following items:
- all Metro Parks and Facilities to open
- all Metro Schools and Educational Facilities can open with restrictions determined by County COVID-19 metrics
- all Metro camps including day and overnight family camps may operate at full capacity and practice social distancing at all times
- restaurants may continue to offer dine-in service at 3/4 capacity
- retail store and commercial businesses may continue at 3/4 capacity
- exercise, high-touch, and close contact businesses like hair and nail salons may continue to operate at 1/2 capacity
- bars may open at 1/2 capacity
All residents are being advised to continue wearing masks when leaving their homes.
Personal gatherings should be kept to under 25 people.
Anyone who is 65 years or older or anyone with underlying medical conditions is advised to stay home. Those who can work from home are asked to continue to do so.
The move to Phase Three comes even though Nashville has had high positive test results as well as several days of over 100 people testing positives. The virus transmission rate is higher now that it has been in the past.
"It's never been just one metric. We have always said it's a collection of other metrics. Yes, the 14-day metric is heading upwards," Dr. Alex Jahangir, who is the Chairman of the Metro Coronavirus Task Force, said. "We are looking at other metrics. Do I wish the transmission rate was lower? Absolutely."
Steve Smith is part owner of Tootsies, Kid Rock’s Honky Tonk, and other downtown bars.
"It's great, but it's a good four weeks late, Phase Three. The governor moved to with his phases right on time and the state of Tennessee seems to be doing pretty good overall," Smith said. "We've been closed over three months and our organization is losing over a half million dollars a day."
However, Mayor John Cooper said he is anxious to bring tourism back to the Music City with precautions.
"Yeah, we are trying to get back to normal," Cooper said. "If they go to a small music venue, we want them to wear a mask."
The news as the Metro Public Health Department announced there are 7,550 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Davidson County. This was an increase of 67 total cases in the past 24 hours. The health department said there are 7,539 confirmed cases.
There have been 86 people who have died after a confirmed case of COVID-19.
For the latest updates on the Nashville response to COVID-19, click here.