COVID-19: John Rich, Dierks Bentley paying staff amid Nashville bar closures

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Posted at 9:26 AM, Mar 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-17 20:21:04-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — John Rich and Dierks Bentley have offered to pay employees after their downtown Nashville bars closed amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

Bentley made the announcement via Twitter, saying he’s giving 90 hourly employees of Whiskey Row $1,000 to “help in the short run as our community and country try to get a handle on the [COVID-19] situation.”

A spokesperson for John Rich’s Redneck Riviera says the bar will continue paying all its staff and bartenders during their shut down, including what bartenders would have made with tips.

They will also start live streaming live music on Wednesday.

Whiskey Row and Redneck Riviera were among several businesses in downtown Nashville that closed their doors after a city mandate required bars to stop operations amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Famous Saloon issued the following statement:

"Thank you for covering the story! I am doing as much as I can for the employees and trying to stay in communication with everyone to make sure they are safe and happy. I wanted to give them $500 because I knew this would hurt them financially and I wanted them to know I care about them. Our management team is working on new menus and planning a huge party for when we are ready to open the doors and celebrate Nashville again!
I did hear about the disaster funds and I’m hoping everyone will be able to benefit from that including the ones that are still dealing with the tornado disaster. Famous Saloon will continue to try to represent Nashville in the best way we can and can’t wait to party again!"


See all our coronavirus coverage here


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.