Tennessee is lifting visitation restrictions after months of limiting visits at long-term care facilities across the state, the Tennessee Department of Health announced Wednesday (February 24). The current state-specific visitation restrictions will end February 28 as 100% of the Tennessee's nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities have completed both doses of COVID-19 vaccinations, News Channel 5 reports.
"The health and safety of vulnerable Tennesseans, especially our long-term care residents, remains our top priority, and our comprehensive and persistent efforts to protect this population from COVID-19 have saved lives," said Tennessee Health Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey. "Now that vaccinations at all long-term care facilities are nearing completion, we are ready to transition to a more sustainable approach of following these best practices for safe operation of long-term care facilities in Tennessee."
Officials with the state Department of Health recognize the impact the pandemic has had on facility patients, particularly the isolation. New guidance issued by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) outlines how facilities can protect patients' health and safety while still addressing their social and emotional needs that can be improved with visitors. The guidance includes allowing indoor visitation at a facility where no new COVID-19 cases have been reported in the previous 14 days.
More information about the new CMS guidance can be found here.
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