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Long Term Care Visitations Allowed Starting October

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader

Visitations for long term care residents will expand under a new initiative announced by the state department of health Thursday.

Health Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercy said starting October 1st, facilities that have gone 14 days with no new COVID cases may allow visitors.

“The health and safety of our vulnerable Tennesseans, particularly those in long term care facilities, remains our top priority,” Piercy said. “Thus, if a facility were to have new cases amongst its residents or staff, these expanded visitation allowances would be suspended until the facility is again infection free for at least 14 days.”

Piercy said if a facility goes 28 days with no new cases, it may participate in a new essential care giver program.

“Essential care givers are designated individuals, who may visit more frequently to provide assistant to love ones with their activities of daily living,” Piercy said. “Like feeding, bathing and dressing.”

Restrictions on resident interactions within facilities have also been loosened. Piercy said communal dining, therapeutic and social activities and visits by non-healthcare personnel like barbers and beauticians will be allowed for qualifying centers.

“These allowances only apply to COVID negative residents in facilities that have had no new cases in 14 days,” Piercy said. “Just like with visitation, we insist that the facilities maintain strict infection control practices.”

Piercy said mask wearing, social distancing and capacity limits will be enforced.


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