Nashville mayor to ask for closure of bars, limits on restaurants

Nashville mayor to ask for closure of bars, limits on restaurants
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Nashville Mayor John Cooper (D) will ask the city’s health department to close all bars in Davidson County and curtail restaurant seating amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Cooper said he would ask the board to close bars throughout the county, including in the Lower Broadway area, a popular tourist destination, and restrict restaurant seating to under 50 percent capacity, disallowing more than 100 people per building, and for a 50 percent capacity limit on bar service at restaurants with no standing permitted, the Tennessean reported.

“We also are asking restaurants to take social distancing precautions, including the spacing out of tables for customers," Cooper said. “We are asking for these short-term actions based on recommendations of public health officials and health professionals and to protect the health of every person in our county and every visitor to our city."

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Seventeen of the state’s 39 confirmed cases were in Davidson County as of Sunday afternoon. With patrons continuing to flock to bars despite public health officials’ warning that social distancing and avoidance of crowds is necessary to halt the spread of the virus, numerous jurisdictions have moved to close bars, including Ohio and Illinois.

State Sen. Steve Dickerson (R), whose district includes the city, praised the move by Cooper.

"With emergency declarations on the state and federal level, resources will hopefully be available to assist businesses and workers who suffer economic hardship," Dickerson said, according to the newspaper.