State restrictions for visiting long-term care facilities end Feb. 28

By , Daily Memphian Updated: February 24, 2021 2:50 PM CT | Published: February 24, 2021 2:50 PM CT

State restrictions for those wanting to visit loved ones in long-term care facilities will end effective Feb. 28, the Tennessee Department of Health announced Wednesday, Feb. 24.

TDH said facilities should use guidance from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for safely allowing visitors beginning Feb. 28.

TDH said a federal pharmacy partnership with long-term care facilities across the state has resulted in 100% of patients and staff in nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities receiving two doses of COVID vaccines. By Feb. 28, vaccinations at all assisted care living facilities and residential homes for the aged should be completed.

“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,” Lisa Piercey, Tennessee Health commissioner, said in a release.

“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.”

CMS’ visitation guidance provides reasonable ways to safely facilitate in-person visits.

The guidance allows, among other provisions, indoor visitation when there has been no new onset of COVID-19 cases in the last 14 days and a facility is not conducting outbreak testing.

The CMS guidance also outlines how facilities may expand communal dining and other group activities, if infection control policies are followed.

TDH said facilities should remain vigilant monitoring residents and staff members for COVID-19 cases through screening and testing. Testing visitors is encouraged, but not required.

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Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Tennessee Department of Health

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