Tennessee expected to loosen visitor restrictions in nursing homes

Posted at 6:03 AM, Aug 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-26 08:08:59-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Many have not been able to hug loved ones in nursing homes since the pandemic started, but that could soon change in the Mid-State.

As of now, in order to allow visitations, there can’t be any new COVID-19 cases in residents or staff members at the facility in the previous 28 days.

Rapid COVID-19 tests will be distributed to all nursing homes in Tennessee by mid to late September. With those results, it could decrease the no visitor policy to 14 days.

Unfortunately, there have been nearly 3,000 nursing home residents diagnosed with COVID-19 in Tennessee and 434 have died.

However, Tennessee Health Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey says they understand lack of social interaction is hard on the elderly and their mental health.

“We absolutely agree 100%. We know that the elderly and disabled that are in our nursing homes miss and love and need that interaction,” said Piercey.

Dr. Piercey says they are also looking into launching a task force that would investigate issues at long-term care facilities.