County Mayor’s Notes – September 18th, 2020

Long-Term Care Facility (LTCF) Residents (COVID-19 Update Follows LCTF Update)

The Tennessee Department of Health and Tennessee’s Unified Command Group has announced three new initiatives to enhance the well-being and quality of life of Tennesseans in long-term health care facilities. These efforts include expanding options for visitation, relaxing restrictions for resident interactions within LTCFs and the formation of the Tennessee COVID-19 Long-Term Care Task Force.

Expanded Visitation Options
Beginning October 1, 2020 facilities that have gone at least 14 days with no new COVID-19 cases among residents or staff members will immediately be allowed to offer outdoor or limited indoor visitation with residents. These visits will require maintaining strict precautions for the safety of both residents and staff members, including wearing masks, physical distancing, environmental disinfection and in some instances, testing of visitors.

If a facility reports no new cases for 28 days, it will be allowed to offer an essential caregiver program. Essential caregivers are designated individuals who may visit frequently to assist LTCF residents with activities of daily living, such as feeding, bathing and dressing.

Protecting the physical health of Tennessee’s long-term care residents is the primary concern. If a facility has new COVID-19 cases among residents or staff, these expanded visitation allowances will be suspended until the facility is once again infection-free for at least 14 days.

Enhanced Resident Interactions
Tennessee is also relaxing restrictions for resident interactions within long-term care facilities effective October 1, 2020. These include resumption of communal dining, therapeutic and social activities and visits by non-health care personnel such as barbers and beauticians. As with expanded visitation, these activities will only be allowed for residents who do not have COVID-19 in facilities that have had no new cases in at least 14 days. Facilities must maintain strict infection control practices, including use of masks, physical distancing and capacity limits.

Tennessee COVID-19 Long-Term Care Task Force
The new Tennessee COVID-19 Long-Term Care Task Force is charged with developing and implementing new policy solutions to address immediate and future issues impacting long-term care facilities and residents during the COVID-19 pandemic. The membership is broad and includes representatives from the Tennessee Departments of Health, Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, TennCare, the Commission on Aging and Disability and the Tennessee General Assembly. The task force also includes representatives from advocacy organizations, health care providers and facility administrators, community behavioral health and LTCF residents and their family members. The first objective of this task force is to monitor the safety and effectiveness of the expanded visitation and activity guidelines and refine them, as necessary.

Additional information about these initiatives is available online at under Long-Term Care Facility Guidance as “Increased Visitation” and “Activities and Dining”. LTCF administrators and staff members will be working during the next two weeks to prepare to implement the new guidelines. Tennesseans with loved ones in a long-term care facility are encouraged to contact the facility to learn more about their specific policies and procedures for visitation to help make their plans for visiting.

COVID-19 Update (difference from previous day)

School level COVID-19 data is now available online.  Click this link to see the information available for Cumberland County:

The following are the numbers from the Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) for Cumberland County as of 2:00 PM today. The change from the prior day is in parenthesis.

Our active cases are still much better, and the short-term positivity rate is dropping.  The positivity rate for this batch of results is 4.7% (positives/negatives + positives) which is going in the right direction.  We have 119 active cases.  Our high for actives was 355 on August 23, 2020.

119 active cases (+6)
991 inactive/recovered (+8)
16 deaths officially reported (+0)
1,126 positive cases (+14)
52 hospitalizations (+0) *
20,486 negative tests (+282)
88.01% Inactive/Recovered
5.21% cumulative positivity rate (positive cases / positive cases + negative tests)
1.86% of residents have tested positive
0.20% of residents have active cases

These numbers are intended to be a brief summary of the information provided by the Tennessee Department of Health. More detailed information can be found at the online dashboard:

* Hospitalization data reflect the cumulative (total) number of cases of Cumberland County residents that were ever hospitalized from COVID-19. It does not reflect the number of people currently hospitalized. This does not mean the patient was hospitalized in Cumberland County. It means that a Cumberland County resident was hospitalized at some point.

Health Department Testing and Face Coverings
Masks/face coverings can help to slow the spread by slowing or stopping the droplets that carry the virus.  Free cloth masks are available upon request at the Health Department for those that want one. Stop by Monday through Friday from 8:00 am until 4:30 pm to pick one up for each individual in your household.

The local Health Department (1503 South Main Street) is conducting drive through testing, free of charge, Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM.   No doctor’s order is required, and no appointment is necessary. Anyone can be tested regardless of symptoms.

Thank you for being part of the solution and thank you for the opportunity to serve as your County Mayor.  If you are interested in hearing my thoughts and views on news, events, and activities in Cumberland County, please subscribe to my newsletter, and follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Thank you,

Allen Foster
Cumberland County Mayor

Published by allenfoster

Cumberland County Mayor

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