Nashville reverts to modified Phase Two on Friday as COVID-19 cases skyrocket; Bars must close

Posted at 9:32 AM, Jul 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-03 23:12:15-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Nashville will revert to a modified Phase Two of its reopening process on Friday, July 3rd as COVID-19 cases continue to skyrocket. Metro reported more than 600 new cases on Thursday, which brings the one-week total to more than 2,000 in the city alone.

Today's case count is the highest single day increase in Metro Nashville. The state has seen increases as well, and is on pace to its worst week since the pandemic began.

No exact timeline was given except for that Phase two will last "for at least a few weeks," according to Mayor John Cooper.

Mayor Cooper made the announcement Thursday morning during his weekly COVID-19 update.

This Phase two is modified slightly from the first time the city entered Phase two. Restaurants and bars are being reverted back to Phase one guidelines, according to the mayor. They will remain open but have to operate dine-in service at half capacity, down from 3/4 capacity currently allowed.

However, bars, which did reopen at half capacity when the city moved to phase three, must now close for at least the next 14 days.

Metro parks and facilities also reopened in phase three, but will remain open as contact tracing hasn't shows those areas to be a source of transmission, according to the Mayor.

Retail and commercial businesses can still operate at 75% capacity, and high touch businesses like nail/hair salons and gyms can remain open at 50% capacity.

Nashville entered Phase 3 on June 22nd, less than two weeks ago. A full list of the restrictions are available below.

“By observing our public health orders, maintaining a safe social distance from one another, and wearing a face covering whenever possible, we can limit the spread of the disease and help protect each other," Mayor Cooper said.

The changes will also have a big impact on the 4th of July holiday. "It is clear that adding any public health risk is inappropriate for Nashville at this time. So, we’ve directed the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corporation to cancel its fireworks display on Saturday evening," the Mayor also announced during Thursday's presser.

NewsChannel 5 will air a one-hour special from 9 to 10 p.m. showcasing local artists and previous years’ fireworks displays.

The Metro Public Health Department has issued an order requiring facial coverings/masks to be worn in Nashville. Beginning on Friday, those who violate that order "shall be subject to civil and criminal penalties, including punishment as a Class C Misdemeanor.”

Read more about Metro’s mask order here.