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Grand Ole Opry pauses live performances amid COVID-19 concerns

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Posted at 4:11 PM, Mar 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-13 17:11:51-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The Grand Ole Opry will pause performances with live audiences through April 4 in response to concerns of spreading COVID-19.

This decision includes Friday and Saturday night's performances.

"The Opry’s first priority has always been the safety of our employees, guests and artists who have all been key in keeping the show that made country music famous on the air every week for over 94 years," Opry officials said in a statement.

In the meantime, the Saturday Night Grand Ole Opry Show will return to its original format as a live radio broadcast without a live audience. Fans can still tune in to the broadcasts at opry.com and wsmonline.com.

Guests with tickets for the canceled performances can contact the Grand Ole Opry Customer Service line for help at 800-SEE-OPRY.

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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.