Today is the big day for the city of Nashville. Phase one of reopening begins Monday, May 11, but not without several regulations in place for each business to follow. The reopening economy follows a spike of Nashville COVID-19 cases over the weekend, putting a shadow over the resuming of everyday life.
"As our testing capacity continues to grow, we will see case numbers naturally increase," Mayor John Cooper of Nashville stated in a press briefing. "But, your efforts will largely determine the sustained success of our economic restart."
Nashville saw 411 new cases of COVID-19 since Friday, May 8, which brings the tally to 3,652 cases in Davidson County since the beginning of the outbreak.
Phase one means residents can now go out to eat and go shopping at various retailers. The gyms, hair and nail salons, and barbershops will remain closed until further notice.
The opening of these establishments doesn't come without new regulations, of course. Each location that is reopening is required to only operate at half capacity, workers must wear face masks, temperature screening for all employees will happen every day, and strict social distancing guidelines for customers will continue to be in place.
Aside from those regulations, there's also a restriction of no more than six guests at a table at one time. With big friend groups or families, some may have to be split up their party when deciding to dine-in.
A Nashville data company released a prediction of cities in Tennessee that are most likely to be the most vulnerable if there's a second wave of the novel coronavirus comes, and Davidson County is on that list.
The mayor explained that customers should report any business that isn't complying with all the rules and regulations by calling 311. This will help stop the spread of the virus if a second wave is to come.
Residents could see phase two come into play after weeks of safe metrics following this week's reopening of businesses and customers' continual compliance with the social distancing guidelines.