Tennessee to remove COVID visitation restrictions for long-term care facilities

Covid in 2021
Posted at 1:57 PM, Feb 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-24 23:54:22-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The Tennessee Department of Health announced that the state specific visitation restrictions for long-term care facilities will end on Feb. 28.

TDOH announced the update Wednesday, saying 100% of Tennessee’s nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities have completed both doses of COVID-19 vaccinations. Additionally, the state said vaccinations at its assisted care living facilities and residential homes are set to be finished this week.

Health officials acknowledged the “extraordinary challenges” that long-term care facilities have faced during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“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.”

TDOH said facilities should use the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) guidance for safe operation and visitation, with limited visitation restrictions no longer in place at the state level. According to the CMS guidance, nursing homes may allow indoor visitation when there has been no new onset of cases in the last 14 days and the facility is not currently conducting outbreak testing.