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VOL. 44 | NO. 19 | Friday, May 8, 2020

Nashville to begin 1st economic reopening phase on Monday

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NASHVILLE (AP) — Nashville will slowly begin reopening its economy next week amid the coronavirus pandemic, officials said Thursday.

Starting Monday, the city's first of four reopening phases will allow dine-in restaurants, bars serving food, retail stores and commercial businesses to operate at 50% capacity. Workers will be required to undergo daily screenings and wear face masks. Bar areas will stay closed and live music will remain banned.

"The goal is to get us gently back to work while managing with the presence of the disease in our community," Nashville Mayor John Cooper said.

The first phase also continues to restrict gatherings to 10 or fewer people and calls for wearing masks in public.

Officials acknowledged an upward trend of new coronavirus cases over the past two weeks in Nashville, with clusters at homeless shelters and a meatpacking facility.

To advance to the next phase of reopening, Nashville officials want to see two weeks of appropriate health metrics, including a flat or decreasing trend.

Nashville-Davidson County and five other counties were allowed to reopen more slowly than the rest of the state, which started by allowing dine-in restaurants on April 27. Republican Gov. Bill Lee on Friday will allow the opening of small-group activities, from arcades to bowling alleys, in 89 of the state's 95 counties.

Nashville and other metro areas will also be the focus of COVID-19 testing for residents of large public housing complexes, said Tennessee's adjutant general, Maj. Gen. Jeff Holmes. That's in addition to statewide testing of all nursing home and assisted-living facility residents and staff, and all state prison inmates and staff.

In Memphis, officials said restaurants and shops on historic Beale Street were allowed to open to customers Thursday. Businesses must operate at only 50% capacity, and no live or DJ music will be allowed during business hours. Known for its blues music, Beale Street is an important tourist attraction in Memphis.

Meanwhile, state corrections officials say 580 out of 586 inmates at Bledsoe County Correctional Complex who tested positive for COVID-19 have finished 14 days of isolation without showing symptoms. Two of the others are hospitalized, and the final four have no symptoms and remain in isolation, the state Department of Correction said in a news release.

The facility has seen the second biggest outbreak in Tennessee's prison system. Trousdale Turner Correctional Center, which is privately run by CoreCivic, saw about 1,300 inmates — about half of the prison's population — and 50 workers test positive, including one inmate who has since died. The spread of the virus at Trousdale, which officials said happened largely without anyone showing symptoms, prompted the state to begin testing all state prisoners and staff.

In an earnings call Thursday, CoreCivic CEO Damon Hininger said 148 staffers and more than 1,600 inmates had tested positive in the company's facilities nationwide as of Tuesday, including two inmates who died.

That is out of the 15,000 employees and 56,000 inmates CoreCivic has had on average over the past two months at more than 70 prisons, detention centers and community corrections facilities, Hininger said.

Tennessee-based CoreCivic is using staff from facilities across the country with fewer COVID-19 cases to fill in at facilities with high case numbers, where some workers have had to quarantine for 14 days because they tested positive or came in contact with someone else who did, Hininger said.

Tennessee officials on Thursday reported 14,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the state since the outbreak began, including 237 deaths.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms that clear up within weeks. For some, especially older adults and those with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness and be life-threatening.

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TNLedger.com Knoxville Editon
RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 0 0 0
MORTGAGES 0 0 0
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 0 0
BUILDING PERMITS 0 0 0
BANKRUPTCIES 0 0 0
BUSINESS LICENSES 0 0 0
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0