The Tennessee Department of Health announced that visitation is open for nursing homes.
However, Overton County Health and Rehab Public Information Officer Scott Stevens said that announcement is misleading. Stevens said nursing facilities follow CMS and CDC guidelines, not Tennessee’s guidelines.
“Number one is, the county positivity rate in whatever county you’re in has to be at 10 percent or below and hold that rate for two weeks,” Stevens said. “So, in our example once the Overton County positivity rate has held 10 percent or less for two weeks, we’ll begin contacting our families to schedule inside visitation.”
Stevens said that Overton County’s positivity rate has dropped from roughly 18 percent, down to 11.4 percent for the last seven-day average. Stevens said that the other factors to allow for in-person visitation are being met.
“The positivity rate, that means that we haven’t had any for 14 days so that’s a good thing,” Stevens said. “All of the PPE equipment, we have plenty of stock of that, so there’s no shortage of that. We’re following the CDC guidelines for how you would disinfect everything, the high-touch areas of the building. So, everything else is falling into line. Right now, the only missing component, at least for Overton County would be the county positivity rate.”
The 11.4 percent positivity rate comes from the February 24 COVID County Data Snapshot. Stevens said the facility is still offering window and virtual visits for families to stay connected.