Tennessee nursing homes to get $93M to help combat COVID-19

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Posted at 9:05 AM, May 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-22 10:05:51-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The Department of Health and Human Services says Tennessee nursing homes will get more than $93 million to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

The agency said Friday morning that it had begun distributing 280 payments, totaling $93,230,000, to nursing facilities across the state.

According to a release, the funding, which is part of the CARES Act, will be “used to support nursing homes suffering from significant expenses or lost revenue attributable to COVID-19.”

HHS said it will make relief fund distributions based on both a fixed basis and variable basis. Each eligible facility will receive a fixed distribution of $50,000, plus a distribution of $2,500 per bed.

There have been hundreds of novel coronavirus cases in nursing homes across the state. The Tennessee Department of Health said as of Thursday, 108 of the state’s deaths occurred in long term care facilities. Twenty-three of those were reported at the Gallatin Center for Rehabilitation and Healing.


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What is COVID-19 (a.k.a. the new coronavirus?)

According to the World Health Organization, coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases. Examples include the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV)and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV). A novel coronavirus (nCoV) is a new strain that has not been previously identified in humans. COVID-19 stands for "Coronavirus disease 2019," which is when this strain of the coronavirus was discovered.

What are the symptoms?

The CDC says patients confirmed to have the 2019-nCoV reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

Or at least two of the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

At this time, the CDC believes symptoms could appear as soon as two days after exposure, or as long as 14 days.


The CDC is recommending "common sense" measures such as:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.