As the spread of coronavirus has caused widespread panic around the U.S., more and more closures and cancellations are being announced both locally and nationally as a preventative measure. Earlier today, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that COVID-19 has officially become a global pandemic, unleashing an even greater amount of anxiety.
Cities all around the country, but especially in coastal areas, are taking drastic measures to try to stop the virus in it's tracks. The city of Seattle has placed a ban on large gatherings of over 250 people, and Major League Baseball's Seattle Mariners have announced they will play no home games in Seattle for the month of March, with plans still up in the air as to where those games will take place.
Numerous conferences and festivals around the country and here in Nashville have been cancelled or postponed, including Coachella, Stagecoach, Tin Pan South, and more.
Colleges are also starting to cancel in-person classes and are encouraging students to move out of the dorms and take classes online, including Vanderbilt for the remainder of this month and Belmont until April 6th.
Major sporting events are also being affected. It was just announced that the NBA game between the Golden State Warriors and Brooklyn Nets will play Thursday night's game with no fans due to an order created by the city government in San Francisco.
And just today, we learned of the first NCAA Basketball Tournament games being cancelled - due to a ban on large gatherings in the state of Ohio.
So far the SEC tournament here in Nashville will continue as planned, with the first game slated for tipoff at 6:00pm, but locker rooms will be off limits to the media due to the outbreak. Up to this point no plans have been changed for upcoming home games from the Predators and Nashville SC, but if the state of Tennessee implements a large gathering ban similar to other states, those games would likely be cancelled or played with no fans in the stands.
Several conferences have also been cancelled, according to the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corporation, with the latest statistics showing 99 cancelled events in Music City and over 53,000 cancelled hotel reservations.
Public schools are also seeing the effects of the COVID-19 scare.
Several area school systems are closed for the week for deep cleaning, and students are receiving assignments online.
At the time of this writing, the following school systems or private institutions are closed through the end of this week:
Dickson County Schools
United Christian Academy
Wilson County Schools
Williamson County Schools were closed today and that will likely continue. As of right now, Metro Nashville schools remain open, but that is subject to change at any moment.