Businesses not complying with COVID-19 order put 'public's health at risk,' health director says

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Posted at 10:51 AM, May 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-26 23:38:01-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The Metro Public Health Department received more than 95 complaints over the weekend about businesses not complying with the city’s COVID-19 guidelines.

Metro began Phase 2 of its reopening on Monday, which includes live music returning to restaurants. Dr. Michael Caldwell, with the Metro Health Department, said while we're still in an “educational phase,” he expects businesses to comply with Public Health Order 6. They will begin issuing citations "soon."

Caldwell said most of the complaints were about employees not wearing face coverings or not wearing them properly. He said they also received complaints of bars opening dance floors, which isn’t included in Phase 2.

“Let me just emphasize to the businesses who choose not to follow the rules, you are putting the public’s health at risk and I want you to know that while we are in an educational phase now, we expect cooperation and compliance,” Caldwell said.

Overall though, he said many businesses have been complying by wearing face coverings and having the proper signage out front.

Caldwell also said they received complaints of large gatherings of people who weren’t wearing masks or practicing social distancing. He asked citizens to report if their neighbors are having large social gatherings and they will dispatch Metro Police.

Dr. James Hildreth, with Meharry Medical College, said he expects to see minor outbreaks resulting from Memorial Day crowds. He warned that minor outbreaks can quickly turn into major outbreaks.

If you’re a business owner and have questions, you can find more information here. To report a business for not following guidelines, call 311 or visit Hub Nashville.


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What is COVID-19 (a.k.a. the new coronavirus?)

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.

What are the symptoms?

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

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

Or at least two of the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

At this time, the CDC believes symptoms could appear as soon as two days after exposure, or as long as 14 days.


The CDC is recommending "common sense" measures such as:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.