CMT tornado relief telethon attendee tests positive for coronavirus

Measures are being taken by both CMT and WSMV to prevent exposure

An attendee at last week’s CMT/WSMV-TV tornado relief telethon has tested positive for COVID-19, aka coronavirus. The event was held Thursday, March 5th at the CMT studios in Nashville where several country stars and CMT/WSMV staffers were in attendance. Country Music Television shared the finding on Tuesday, assuring they’ve taken proactive measures to ensure their employees are safe.

“Last night, we learned that an external attendee at a March 5th fundraiser for tornado relief efforts at the CMT Studios in our Nashville office has tested positive for COVID-19,” a statement from the network reads. “We immediately closed the office for a deep cleaning to fully sanitize the entire building and we will re-open tomorrow [3/11]. Out of an abundance of caution, we’re requiring team members who were at the fundraiser to work from home for two weeks. In addition, we’re encouraging everyone else to take advantage of our work-from-home policy for the remainder of this week. Our employees’ safety and well-being are a top priority, and we are following the guidance of local public health authorities to help provide support and real time updates.”

WSMV-TV confirms to Scoop Nashville that CMT management notified them as soon as they found out.

“This morning, Country Music Television (CMT) management alerted our team that an attendee to last Thursday’s CMT telethon is a confirmed case of COVID-19 (coronavirus),” WSMV says. “Eight WSMV staff team members were in attendance at the telethon. Two of the employees left the premises prior to that individual arriving. The remaining six employees were in an environment where they may have had contact with this individual, but no contact has been confirmed. As far as we know, none of the WSMV employees have exhibited any symptoms.”

The Nashville NBC affiliate assures that six employees who may have been exposed to the confirmed case of coronavirus have been sent home for a 14 day period from the date of potential exposure. They are also disinfecting the entire station this week. The station confirms that it’s adhering to CDC guidelines and will remain open and operational.

Country stars, such as Lady Antebellum’s Dave Haywood and Charles Kelley, Cassadee Pope, Nashville’s Sam Palladio, Blanco Brown, Devin Dawson, Gavin DeGraw, Kalie Shorr, Sarah Darling, Travis Denning and Whitney Duncan, were in attendance and answered phones from people wanting to donate around the country. Kid Rock and Big Machine CEO Scott Borchetta were also in the building donating $50k and $100k, respectively. CMT host Cody Alan and WSMV anchor Tom Randles co-hosted the event.

A manager for one of the artists answering phones confirms they were notified by CMT on Tuesday about the attendee, but provided no further details. The victim has not been identified and no other cases involving attendees have been confirmed as of press time.

The two TV stations teamed with the American Red Cross to provide funding for those affected by last week’s deadly tornadoes that tore through Middle Tennessee. The event raised nearly $400k for victims of two EF-2 twisters that damaged or destroyed dozens of homes and businesses including the popular The Basement East venue and Dualtone Records.

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Buddy Iahn
Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.
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