Tennessee to allow limited visitation at nursing homes beginning June 15

Posted at 12:57 PM, Jun 10, 2020

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The State of Tennessee will begin allowing limited visitation at long-term care facilities beginning June 15.

Gov. Bill Lee announced new guidance on Wednesday, saying he will sign an Executive Order that will allow new forms of visitation.

“From my own family experience, I know how heartbreakingly difficult and stressful it is to not see loved ones for weeks at a time,” Gov. Lee said. “Our family members, friends, and neighbors in long-term care are our most vulnerable Tennesseans. Even limited visitation options will bring relief and support for residents and visitors alike, as long as we can ensure everyone’s well-being.”

The state says facilities in all 95 Tennessee counties that choose to re-open to visitors must first meet the following prerequisites:

  • Testing of all staff and residents at least once, and compliance with applicable regulations regarding weekly staff re-testing;
  • No new COVID-19 case in residents or staff members in the previous 28 days;
  • Compliant with Board for Licensing Health Care Facilities regulations and infection control guidelines;
  • Overall stability of the disease burden present in the community where the facility is located.

Long-term care facilities who meet the prerequisites and allow limited visitation must follow guidelines, which include:

  • Making appointments prior to visiting and limiting the duration of visits;
  • Limiting the number of visitors per resident and daily visitors per facility;
  • Enforcing visitor social distancing and mask requirements; and,
  • Screening all visitors with symptom and temperature checks immediately upon facility entry.

Long-term care facilities may have three options for limited resident visitation to take place:

  • In an outdoor setting, weather permitting;
  • Using a visitation booth or protective barrier; and,
  • A resident’s room if the visitor documents a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours prior to the visit.