NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WZTV) —Gyms, barbershops and nail salons will be allowed to open at half capacity with Phase Two of re-opening in Nashville starting Monday. Live music will also be allowed, with certain limitations.
Lower Broadway has been pretty quiet for the last few months, but that's about to change starting Monday when one of the very things that gives Nashville its identity returns: live music. And that's not even the only thing allowed to start again with phase two, but the question is, do the numbers support this move?
After seven long weeks of being closed because of COVID-19, The Pearl Salon in Madison is set to open next week with the start of phase two. Heather Gammon is the owner.
"This is it, we get to go back to work and do what we love," Gammon said.
Plastic shields will be placed at the front desk and between styling stations, and employees will be sanitizing often, while wearing masks and gloves. Gammon says they're asking all customers to bring a mask, but they have extras if a guest doesn't have one. They'll also be asking guests to wait in their cars until they're ready to start their appointment.
"Some of the outside counties opened a couple weeks ago, and we were nervous thinking we're going to lose some customers, but we're just thankful for our guests, for them being understanding and knowing that we had no control over this," Gammon said.
While Gammon and her staff get back to work, musicians playing gigs on Broadway and other venues throughout Music City get to do the same thing, but only two performers are allowed on stage at a time. Dave Pomeroy is President of the Nashville Musicians Association.
"There's nowhere else on Earth like Nashville, and we can show the world how to put our economy back together without hurting each other," Pomeroy said.
He says the association has issued further guidelines for performers as they return to their stages:
- Do not share equipment with other musicians.
- Musicians should wear masks - except singers, wind and brass players.
- Bring your own microphone - and cable.
- Keep social distance onstage and in the audience.
- No close seating throughout the venue and at the bar.
- No dancing - Use dance floor to keep a safe distance from stage to audience.
- One act must leave stage before the next comes on.
- Stage, mics and cables must be sanitized between acts.
- No sharing of stage during changeover between acts.
- Wear a mask while passing the tip jar.
- Use Virtual Tip Jar or a similar app in addition to or instead of cash tips.
- When counting money, wear gloves.
- Consider using drum shield-style Plexiglas in front of stage.
Phase two is a big step, but Nashville Mayor John Cooper says the city is ready. That's because he says testing and contact tracing capacities have increased, we've seen a flat to downward trajectory of new cases in the last two weeks, and our hospital capacity is still sufficient.
Chair of the Metro Coronavirus Task Force, Dr. Alex Jahangir, says the doubling rate of the virus in the city is almost one month.
"The 14-day rolling average of new cases is flat," Dr. Jahangir said. "The transmission rate is under one. We have built a public health capacity to meet our goals, and our hospital capacity is stable in a satisfactory range, and we are confident the hospital capacity is sufficient, should we experience a sudden spike in hospitalizations."