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August 24th COVID-19 Update

August 24, 2020

To Family Members and Staff

We want to inform you that we have received confirmation that an employee along with a person served at DakotAbilities have been diagnosed with COVID-19. We are doing everything we can to ensure we stop the spread of COVID-19 in our homes and at Longfellow Center including staying in very close communication with state health officials to ensure we are taking all the appropriate steps. Health, safety, and welfare are our top priority and because of this, we will return to Phase 1 of our return to normal plan:

Phase 1:

Residential Services:

Only essential personnel permitted.

Visitors/Home Visits:

No visitors and/or home visits permitted.

Medical Services:

Only Telemed and essential appointments.

Day Services/Employment:

Longfellow: Individuals who receive Day Services only. Evaluated on current trends.

Day Services: Occur in residential home.

Day Only Clients Remote Supports only.

Community Employment/VR: Reviewed on a case-by-case basis.



All meetings occurring via conference call or virtually.


Recreational activities can occur in outdoor spaces that allow for social distancing, drives, drive-thru, and take-out.


Masks are required for employees when a 6-foot distance cannot be maintained and when providing direct support. Mask are encouraged for individuals receiving services, as tolerated and needed; or as recommended by the CDC.


Screening and temperatures will occur prior to the start of each shift.


Individuals receiving services will have temperatures taken daily.

Public Transportation

No public transportation will be utilized for work and/or recreational activities.

We work with the South Dakota Department of Health when these incidents occur and follow their guidance with each situation. We continue with precautions that are in place to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. We will seek testing for those as directed. Individuals who are showing symptoms or who have received confirmation of a positive test will be quarantined to their rooms. Staff continue to wear masks and have face shields available, practice good hand hygiene, and wear gloves. We continue to monitor for symptoms and take daily temperatures, encourage masks, and practice good hygiene for all individuals.

We continue to monitor and base decisions on information from the South Dakota Department of Health and the CDC. We pay particular attention to trends over a 14-day period and an increase or decrease in positive cases, especially in Minnehaha and surrounding counties.

This is a difficult time for everyone and appreciate your understanding.



Nathan Stallinga, Executive Director

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