Governor Bill Lee signed an executive order last week that lifts restrictions on state nursing home facilities. This came as great news to family members of long-term care residents, some of whom have not been able to have in-person, face-to-face contact with their loved ones for almost a year.
The Tennessee Department of Health says all of Tennessee’s nursing homes and skilled nursing home facilities have finished giving both doses of the COVID-19 vaccinations. “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,” Health Commissioner Lisa Piercey said in a statement.
Dr. Piercey says most long-term care facilities in Tennessee are finished with vaccinations with staff members being vaccinated and 3/4 of the long-term care facility population being fully vaccinated.
“Our state’s COVID-19 numbers continue to improve thanks to efficient vaccine distribution and efforts to protect our most vulnerable citizens,” said Governor Lee. “I have authorized continuation of a limited state of emergency through April 28th in order to keep critical healthcare deregulation in place and ensure continued federal funding compliance, and to lift state visitation restrictions on nursing home and long-term care facilities.”
Waynesboro Health and Rehabilitation issued a statement in response to the lifting of restrictions. “With the ending of State Restrictions on our facility, we are ready to return to guidance from our Federal oversight, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. According to federal guidelines at CMS.gov, we may return to our visits on Monday, March 1 in 20-minute increments using the Core Principles outline with CMS. Please phone Lindsey Overton (931)722-3641 to schedule a visitation appointment. We are excited to see our residents back to activities, dining room and with their loved ones.”