Nashville prepares to enter Phase One of reopening


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Nashville is preparing to enter Phase One of Mayor John Cooper’s reopening plan, which goes into effect Monday.

Restaurants and retail stores have been given the green light to reopen at half capacity — but all employees have to be screened daily and wear masks. All Davidson County residents are asked to wear masks when leaving home.

MORE: Nashville to enter Phase One of reopening on May 11th

Many restaurant owners are pleased about the chance to reopen, but others are still concerned about safety. Restaurants like Waffle House will welcome customers back, but local spots like Biscuit Love and chains like Chick-fil-A will not open up dine-in service just yet.

Mayor Cooper said Nashville has received a passing grade for slowing and controlling COVID-19, but more work needs to be done and more challenges lie ahead.

“Now our 14 day average positive is persistently slightly on the incline, over the weeks it is averaging 80, 90, 100 but that is a huge change from what it could have been, 400, 500, 600. Ideally, it would be disappearing but nobody thinks that will happen until there is a vaccine,” said Mayor Cooper.

As for Lower Broadway businesses, some honky tonks are preparing to reopen at half capacity Monday while others aren’t planning on welcoming customers back yet.

Nashville businessman Steve Smith will reopen Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge, Rippy’s, Kid Rock’s, Honky Tonk Central and The Diner. Each location will have masks, gloves and sanitizing kiosks. Staff are removing bar stools and setting up tables and chairs six feet apart.

Other bars like Layla’s, Luke Bryan’s, Jason Aldean’s and FGL House are not going to reopen yet.

“It’s a balancing act, trying to steer between the rock of its potential medical consequences and the hard place of continuing severe economic distress for many. We, together, can steer through these hard times if we all help each other and do it cautiously,” explained Vanderbilt School of Medicine’s Dr. William Schaffner.

Mayor Cooper said Phase One needs to do a better job of protecting essential employees, senior citizens and preventing more clusters throughout the county.

Retail stores will also open at half capacity Monday.

COVID-19 in Tennessee

(This reflects what the TDH is reporting each day at 2 p.m. CST )

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