TSVH Restricts Visitation at Murfreesboro Facility as Part of COVID-19 Preparedness Plan

Thursday, March 12, 2020 | 12:44pm

MURFREESBORO – On March 05, 2020, The Tennessee Department of Health announced its first case of COVID-19 in Middle Tennessee. While the CDC and state health officials have said the overall risk to the general public is low, Tennessee State Veterans’ Homes (TSVH) is taking precautionary measures to minimize the risk of exposure to residents, families, and staff.

TSVH has four facilities across the state that can serve over 500 veterans and their families at a given time. Residents are predominantly older, and many have multiple complex health conditions, making them particularly vulnerable to infection.

Part of the TSVH response plan will be to restrict access to visitors, vendors, and volunteers at State Veterans’ Homes that have active cases in their county or a county adjacent to them.

“Our highest priority is the health and well-being of our residents,” said TSVH Executive Director Ed Harries. “We have been proactive in our response plan to minimize exposure to the residents we serve and ensure we attempt all efforts to prevent the virus from entering our facilities.”

“I would like to praise the Tennessee State Veterans’ Homes for taking the necessary precautions to protect the health and welfare of our elderly residents,” said Commissioner Courtney Rogers of the Tennessee Department of Veterans Services.
Effective immediately, Tennessee State Veterans’ Homes have put the following precautionary measures in place at the Murfreesboro facility due to positive cases of COVID-19 present in Williamson and Davidson counties:
• Visitation is limited to the resident’s spouse or one designated family member
• Visiting hours are limited each day from 8 AM – 6 PM
• Facility access is restricted to all volunteers and non-essential vendors

In addition, TSVH will take the following actions at all four State Veterans’ Homes:
• Staff travel between facilities is frozen for all non-essential travel
• Outside facility trips are cancelled until further notice
• Access to the facilities will be denied to individuals who screen positively for symptoms
• Hand sanitizer stations and fact sheets placed at entrances
• Numbers of public entrances are being limited wherever possible
• TSVH will not admit any resident with known exposure to the COVID-19 virus for at least 14 days post-exposure
• Staff will not be permitted to work if they have had a known exposure to COVID-19
• Increased environmental cleaning, including handrails and door handles
• Staff refresher training on hand washing, use of hand sanitizer, and infection control
• Ensuring staff are utilizing proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) when appropriate

TSVH remains committed to sharing information specific to our Veterans’ Homes and will continue to actively monitor the spread of COVID-19 in Tennessee.

For the most current information about Coronavirus or COVID-19, please refer to cdc.gov or tn.gov/health.