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Financial cost of COVID-19 adding up for Nashville due to canceled conventions, meetings

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Posted at 3:26 PM, Mar 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-31 16:34:34-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The Coronavirus pandemic is taking a financial toll on Nashville as hundreds of meetings and conventions set to be in Music City were canceled amid the outbreak.

Nashville Mayor's "Safer-at-Home" order closed all nonessential businesses on March 22. It has since been extended until April 24 to continue slowing the spread of the virus.

A total of 586 meetings and conventions were canceled, which represented 362,791 room nights and 276,658 attendees, according to the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp.

NCVC officials said those meetings were expected to generate $186.81 million in direct spending, $15.13 million in state taxes, and $16.25 million in local taxes.

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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.

Prevention

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.