Tennessee lifting nursing home visitation restrictions Sunday

Updated: Feb. 27, 2021 at 1:21 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - On Sunday, the State of Tennessee will lift its visitation restrictions at nursing homes and long-term care facilities.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee says the state is taking this step because 100% of the state’s nursing homes and other long-term care facilities have completed both doses of the COVID-19 vaccinations.

“There has been a lot of isolation, a lot of separation for the elderly in our state, so we’re really glad to be in this spot,” said Lee.

Tennessee Health Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey says anyone planning to visit a nursing home in Tennessee needs to keep in mind that there are still federal guidelines in place, and individual long-term care facilities can also implement their own visitation rules.

“That does not mean that every nursing home or long-term care facility will be open season and when their doors open on Sunday or Monday anybody can come in,” said Piercey. “Individual facilities will still have their own policies, particularly those not under the purview of CMS (Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services). They will have their own facility guidance.”

Under federal guidelines, nursing homes may allow indoor visitation if there have not been any COVID-19 cases reported in the last two weeks and if there’s no outbreak testing going on, according to the Tennessee Department of Health.

According to state data, more than 2,600 long-term care facility residents in Tennessee have died from COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

The death rate significantly decreased over the last month as more vaccinations were administered.

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