Repairs, construction after tornado continues amid COVID-19


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Essential services in Metro Nashville continue to be open for business. But one in particular, construction, has people asking why?

In Nashville, construction doesn’t seem to be slowing down.

“Construction is considered an essential service and so construction and home repair activity is allowed to continue,” said Metro Council Member for District 6 Brett Withers.

The categorization is in line with other cities and states with Stay-At-Home orders, like New York and San Francisco.

Mayor John Cooper’s Office told News 2, it’s necessary with Nashville’s recovery effort after the March 3 tornado.

It added that properties that have sustained damage, many residential, still require repair for displaced residents.

“Still have some structures that are in such bad shape that need to be demolished and removed because they present different health challenges to the community,” said Withers.

According to the Mayor’s Stay-At-Home order, essential services must adhere to the CDC’s guidance on hand hygiene and social distancing.

“We would encourage construction workers and homeowners to maintain a safe distance of six feet where possible,” said Withers.

But that’s where things get tricky.

“There are so many things about construction when it involves more than one person and you can’t always be physically distant,” said District 19 Council Member Freddie O’Connell.

Withers said the responsibilities of the employees is up to the general contractor.

O’Connell said compliance enforcement is the next question.

“There’s going to be some lines drawn,” said O’Connell. “Basically asking, ‘Have there been any enforcement action to date?'”

If there are egregious violations by businesses and services, Withers recommends contacting the Metro Public Health Department.

The department also has a new coronavirus hotline for questions: 615-862-7777

Most patients with COVID-19 have a mild respiratory illness including fever, cough and shortness of breath. The Tennessee Department of Health strongly encourages Tennesseans to wash your hands often with soap and water and to not touch your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.

The CDC recommends that organizers (whether groups or individuals) cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 10 people or more throughout the United States.

High-risk individuals are defined as adults over 60 years old or people of any age with serious chronic medical conditions such as: Heart disease, diabetes, or lung disease.

The Tennessee Department of Health offers a COVID-19 Public Information Line at 877-857-2945, with information available daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Central Time.

Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.


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