Sunday, March 22, 2020


Metro Press release, 3/22/2020 -

Pursuant to the Declaration of Public Health Emergency adopted by
the Board of Health for Nashville and Davidson County on March 15, 2020

From: Dr. Michael C Caldwell, Chief Medical Director of Health
This Order is being issued to protect the public health of the citizens of Nashville and Davidson County, to mitigate the impact of COVID-19, to bend the curve, and to disrupt the spread of the virus, with the goal of saving lives and reducing strain on regional healthcare resources as much as possible.

Citizens of Nashville and Davidson County are urged to shelter at home as much as possible.  When individuals leave their homes or places of residence, they should practice appropriate social isolation, staying six feet apart, and should assume others are infectious, regardless of whether they exhibit symptoms.

All gatherings are strongly discouraged, and those with more than 10 people are prohibited. Gatherings include any event or convening unrelated to essential services that brings together groups of individuals, including, but not limited to, community, civic, public, leisure, faith-based, or sporting events, parades, concerts, festivals, conventions, fundraisers, and similar activities.

City parks will remain open. Citizens using these open spaces are directed to adhere to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance on social distancing and hand hygiene, remaining 6 feet apart.

Individuals experiencing homelessness, who may include individuals in shelters and homeless encampments, shall not be subject to this order but shall be encouraged to follow CDC guidance on social distancing and hand hygiene.

All businesses not performing essential services shall close their business facilities, subject to exceptions stated in this Order.  Facilities shall remain accessible as needed to service computer and other equipment, process mail, and maintain security.
This closure order includes, but is not limited to:
  • On-site activities at hospitality, educational, and entertainment venues, businesses, and facilities are directed to close to the public. On-line activities and deliveries through these businesses may continue.
  • Personal appearance businesses, including hair, nail, massage, tattoo, tanning, waxing, and other such facilities are directed to close, except when the service is medically necessary.
  • Public and private social clubs are directed to close.
Nothing in this Order shall prohibit any business possessing applicable licenses or permits from conducting deliveries; however, CDC guidance on social distancing shall be followed when possible.
Nothing in this order is intended to prohibit individuals from performing business functions of nonessential businesses from their own homes, provided that such business functions comply with existing law and are only performed by residents of that home.

This Order does not apply to activities necessary to maintain continuity of operations of critical infrastructure sectors, as outlined at

As set forth by the Federal Department of Homeland Security in the link above the federal government has identified 16 critical infrastructure sectors whose assets, systems and networks, whether physical or virtual, are considered so vital to the United States that their incapacitation or destruction would have a debilitating effect on security, economic security, public health or safety, or any combination thereof. Individuals working in these 16 critical infrastructure sectors may continue their work because of the importance of these sectors to the health and well-being of individuals residing or working in Nashville and Davidson County.

This Order does not apply to the following sectors and businesses and their employees as essential services to protect the health and well-being of all individuals residing or working in Nashville and Davidson County.
  • Federal and state offices and services, and private companies or individuals performing under federal, state, or local government contracts;
  • Essential government functions including, but not limited to, law enforcement, public transportation, and businesses that provide government programs and services, including functions assisting economically disadvantaged populations and individuals experiencing homelessness;
  • Companies providing media, communication and telecommunication services;
  • Grocery and beverage stores, farmers markets, food banks, caterers, convenience stores selling food, agriculture, food manufacturing and processing, feed mills, and other businesses that directly support the food supply, including but not limited to farming, livestock, and food cultivation;
  • Health care, mental and behavioral health, biomedical research, laboratory services, and other businesses that directly support the healthcare industry including, but not limited to, health information technology, staffing and supplies;
  • Sanitation and waste removal;
  • Energy, water, and sewage businesses and services;
  • Pharmacies, medical supply, and other businesses that directly support the drug and medical supply pipeline;
  • Vehicle fuel, support, and service stations, vehicle parts and repair businesses, and vehicle sales, leasing and rental businesses;
  • Banks, savings and loans, insurance companies, accounting businesses, and other business that directly support the insurance and financial services sectors;
  • Real property marketing, leasing, purchase, and sale services;
  • Legal and judicial services;
  • Laundromats, laundry, and cleaning services;
  • Home and business structure and equipment repair, hardware, building supply, and appliance sale and repairs;
  • Warehousing and storage facilities;
  • Construction, architectural, engineering, or surveying services;
  • Product logistics, transport, and distribution businesses;
  • Parcel transportation and delivery businesses;
  • Veterinary and pet supply business and services;
  • Home and business cleaning and maintenance services;
  • Educational institutions, public and private K-12 schools, private colleges and universities, trade schools, post-secondary, and technical colleges, but only as needed to facilitate online or distance learning and essential functions;
  • Landscaping and nurseries;
  • Production, distribution, and sale of household consumer goods such as cleaning and personal care products;
  • Essential building maintenance and security;
  • Individuals whose job functions require them to be at their work location and who are essential to preserving the information systems, accounting, and human resource infrastructures of any business which is otherwise in substantial compliance with this order;
  • Nonprofit entities providing support and assistance to victims of the tornado that struck Nashville on March 3, 2020, and the COVID-19 epidemic; and
  • Other businesses and services that may be determined are essential for the continued safety and security of Davidson County.
The following businesses may remain open subject to compliance with the following conditions:
  • Daycare and childcare business shall prioritize children of parents working for essential infrastructure sectors, businesses, or service providers to the extent practicable.
  • Assisted living facilities, nursing homes, adult daycare centers, home health businesses, and senior residential facilities shall follow CDC guidance on social distancing and hand hygiene to the extent practicable. Non-essential social and educational programs at senior citizen and other assisted living communities and centers shall end until further notice.
    • Hotels, short term rental properties, commercial lodges, and dormitories shall cease entertainment or dine-in services, subject to allowing food and beverage pick-up and room-service.
Essential services, especially grocery stores and pharmacies, shall make best efforts to establish hours of operations during which their services are available only to senior citizens or otherwise vulnerable populations.
Essential services shall continue to adhere to CDC guidance on social distancing and hand hygiene in the workplace, including encouraging work-from-home and allowing employees when possible to work on-site in shifts to optimize social distancing in the workplace, where possible.
Essential services are encouraged to utilize, to the maximum extent possible, any telecommuting or work-from-home procedures they can safely utilize.

If any provision, sentence, clause, phrase, or word, of this Order or any application of it to any individual, business, or circumstance is held to be invalid by a decision of a court of competent jurisdiction, then such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions or applications of this Order.

This Order shall be effective at 12:01 AM CDT on March 23, 2020, and shall remain in effect for 14 days subject to extension.
Rod's Comment:  The underlining and italicizing in the above is mine.  Notice that some of this is clearly an order and some of it is discouraging and urging. There are a lot of businesses and occupations exempt from the ban. Does "beverage stores," which are exempted from the order, include liquor stores? I assume it does. Banning the meeting of faith-based gatherings may be the most problematic.  Some strong believer feel they are to follow the will of God, not man.  Some churches or other faith communities may defy the ban. What happens if one disobeys the order?  Will the police arrest you? Will they give you a ticket?  While I bristle at being told what to do in such detail, and while I question if the whole approach to the way we are addressing the virus is the right approach, I am not resisting or encouraging others to resist this order.  I think we all need to cooperate and pray that this ends soon without massive loss of life or destroying the economy and seeing the nation descend into chaos. My understanding of the law is that the local board of health is clearly authorized to take such drastic action. See Legal Authorities for Isolation and Quarantine.

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