Pharmaceutical company cancels conference at Opryland due to health concerns

Gaylord Opryland
Gaylord Opryland

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – News 2 has learned at least one event at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center has been canceled over health concerns.

Lilly, one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies, confirmed to News 2 Tuesday they pulled their conference this week at the premier Nashville hotel after health officials confirmed several cases of norovirus.

In a statement, the Director of Communications for Lilly Diabetes said, “The health and safety of our employees is our top priority. After monitoring the situation over the weekend, we did make the decision to cancel meetings that were scheduled this week at Opryland.”

Gaylord Opryland
Gaylord Opryland

A company spokesperson for Lilly said the conference will be held at another venue. They did not want to speculate about future meetings at Opryland.

In a separate statement, a spokesperson for Gaylord Opryland said, “The safety and security of our guests is of paramount importance at Gaylord Opryland Resort. As soon as we were alerted to the increase in guests reporting symptoms, we informed the public health department and are cooperating with them as they look in to the matter. We have been accommodating impacted guests to be sure they are as comfortable as they can be.”

The statement continued, “There is no imminent health risk, and we are reassuring our guests that we are taking necessary steps to resolve the issue as quickly as possible. We have had group customers express their appreciation for the actions we have taken above and beyond the health department’s recommendations to support the health and safety of their arriving attendees.”

The Metro Public Health Department said Monday two more people have tested positive for norovirus at the Gaylord Opryland hotel.

Health officials confirmed the first case last Friday.

The cases come after an Opryland representative contacted the health department Thursday due to reports of multiple guests experiencing gastrointestinal and/or flu-like symptoms, including nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

The exact number of people affected has yet to be confirmed, but the health department said less than a dozen individuals reported being ill over the weekend.

Health officials are now focusing on interviewing those who were ill and not ill in an effort to determine common connections that may lead them to the cause. The interviews are expected to last several days.

Health officials also said norovirus is very easily spread from person to person, which can make it difficult to pinpoint a source.

They added, “Opryland continues to exceed the health department’s recommended cleaning and disinfecting measures to stop the spread of infection.”

Anyone requesting information regarding the investigation should call 615-340-5632 or send an email to

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