NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Mike Osborne)  —  Tennessee is waiting for federal guidance on two pandemic related issues sparking public debate, according to Gov. Bill Lee.

The state is seeking input on the subject of nursing home visitations and on the issue of how much information about school student COVID-19 cases can be released to the public.

Currently, federal guidelines say a nursing home must be coronavirus free for 28 days before visitors can be allowed. State officials want that restriction reduced to 14 days.  Health Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey says she supports the change, noting that the emotional well-being of long-isolated nursing home residents is also a concern.

Gov. Lee says Tennessee has also asked for permission to reveal school-level data on COVID-19 outbreaks, something it says current federal student privacy restrictions prohibit.

Earlier this month the governor promised to provide school level data on virus outbreaks in public schools, then walked-back that pledge the following week. After public and media pressure, Lee changed course yet again, saying the state would ask for U.S. Department of Education guidance on just how much data could be safely released.


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