» Subscribe Today!
The Power of Information
Home
The Ledger - EST. 1978 - Nashville Edition
X
Skip Navigation LinksHome > Article
VOL. 44 | NO. 35 | Friday, August 28, 2020

Nashville relaxing restrictions on events, bars, party buses

Print | Front Page | Email this story

NASHVILLE (AP) — Nashville is relaxing some of its virus restrictions after seeing a slow-down in the spread of COVID-19.

Mayor John Cooper announced Thursday that beginning Sept. 1, venues may hold weddings, funerals and similar events at one-third capacity or 125 people, whichever is fewer. The venues are required to follow social distancing guidelines and guest must wear masks while standing, Cooper said during a video news conference. Those planning larger events will be allowed to submit plans to the director of public health for review.

Meanwhile, the so-called transportainment industry will be allowed to resume operating its tourist-filled party buses, trucks and tractors at 50% maximum capacity with a limit of 10 people who must all belong to the same party, Cooper said. And bars are allowed to expand capacity to accommodate up to 25 people outside as well as 25 people inside. Seating can resume at the bar with social distancing between parties, the mayor said.

The relaxation of rules comes with "continued slow but steady progress" in fighting the new coronavirus, Cooper said. The 14-day rolling average of cases has decreased from 190.5 two weeks ago to 147.5 today, he said. The city currently has 1,864 active cases. That's the first time the number has been below 2,000 since June.

Tennessee reported 1,826 new cases Thursday and 25 new deaths, bringing the total number of deaths in the state from COVID-19 to 1,673.

Some are calling for Nashville to rein in the large crowds of tourists that continue to congregate in the Lower Broadway entertainment district.

Chelsea Crowell, granddaughter of musician Johnny Cash, started a petition on the website change.org that has collected more than 25,000 signatures. It states, in part, "The rest of Nashville is suffering the consequences of the large tourist crowds gathering downtown. We want to safely return to work and school, we want to safely open back up businesses (there are many that remain closed even as bars downtown remain open by using a food sale loophole), and most importantly, we want our health prioritized."

Meanwhile, Tennessee on Thursday reported 10,998 new jobless claims for the week ending Aug. 22. In all, 241,295 Tennesseans claimed unemployment funds last week totaling more than $72 million, according to the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

The majority of Tennessee counties had lower unemployment rates in July than the previous month, according to the department. Seventy-two of the state's 95 counties saw a decrease. Pickett County recorded the state's lowest unemployment rate for July with 6.3%. Shelby had the highest rate at 16.9%.

In other virus news, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville Chancellor Donde Plowman announced Wednesday that the school was placing six student organizations on interim suspension after reports that they held gatherings that did not follow school guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19. A spokeswoman later confirmed the organizations are five fraternities and a sorority.

Earlier this week, the school initiated disciplinary proceedings against four students for similar offenses. Three are accused of hosting off-campus gatherings without social distancing and masks. The fourth is accused of leaving isolation to meet with other people despite testing positive for the coronavirus. In an announcement, Plowman said the students face "at least suspension from the university, and potentially greater penalties."

While most people who contract the coronavirus recover after suffering only mild to moderate symptoms, it can be deadly for older people and those with existing health problems.

___

Follow AP coverage of the virus outbreak at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter & RSS:
Sign-Up For Our FREE email edition
Get the news first with our free weekly email
Name
Email  
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