TENNESSEE, USA — Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee announced Wednesday that long-term care facilities and nursing homes in counties with lower-disease burdens will be allowed to have visitors starting Monday, June 15.
He said nursing homes have been closed since March, a move he called "necessary in order to protect the most vulnerable of our citizens" at a news briefing Wednesday.
Lee also emphasized that they are taking steps to continue to protect these citizens even as visitations move forward. The state announced several guidelines that facilities will have to meet before they can reopen their doors, as well as safety regulations that visitors must follow while they are there.
The number of visitors per resident, and the overall number of daily visitors, will be limited. Visitors must make appointments before visiting a facility in order to maintain this guideline, the governor announced.
The facility will also have to enforce social distancing and everyone will be required to wear a mask, according to the guidelines. Visitors will be given a temperature check and screened for symptoms before entering the building.
The state's guidance outlines three options for visitation at nursing homes that are in counties with lower-disease burdens: In an outdoor setting, using a visitation booth or protective barrier or in a resident’s room if the visitor documents a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours prior to the visit.
Additionally, Lee said that by Friday, June 12, every nursing home resident in the state will have been tested for COVID-19.