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Bar owners say city's plan to reopen will harm musicians

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Posted at 6:04 PM, Apr 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-23 19:30:31-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Some Nashville hospitality businesses are reacting to the news of a phased opening released by Mayor John Cooper Thursday morning.

The opening plan lays out when restaurants and bars will be allowed to open and how the rules will impact each stage of the plan.

Business owners across Nashville began poring over the the plan shortly after it was released, and the owners of one downtown bar had some feedback.

"It seems rather odd that you can have people in a place but you cannot have musicians," said Brenda Sanderson, one of the owners of Legends Corner on Broadway.

Both Brenda and Ruble Sanderson, her husband, said they're appreciative of the plan to reopen, but believe musicians should be allowed to play earlier than the third phase, which could be weeks out.

"What we hope happens is to be able to open and people come in that want to nobody's pressuring anyone to come in. So, they can make their own decisions. We will take every safeguard we can possibly take to make sure it's safe for our staff, for our customers," she said.

Sanderson said bar owners were meeting to talk about the phases and would come up with some feedback for the mayor's office. They said many bar owners plan to hire full time cleaning workers to constantly wipe down surfaces once they open.

"We all have the same goals. Just try to get back open and try to get our staff and musicians back working," she said.

Ruble added musicians are the reason for Nashville's success as a tourist destination.

"We're the only state in the United States, probably the whole world, that has the quality of entertainment that we offer and it's all free," he said. "That's what brings the people here and the conventions here. It's because Nashville is a fun place to visit. Take the musicians away and it wouldn't be that way."

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According to the World Health Organization, coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases. Examples include the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans. COVID-19 stands for "Coronavirus disease 2019," which is when this strain of the coronavirus was discovered.

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The CDC says patients confirmed to have the 2019-nCoV reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with:

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