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November 11th COVID-19 Update

TO: All Families / Guardians

DATE: November 11th, 2020

FROM: Nathan Stallinga, Executive Director

SUBJECT: Update on COVID-19

We have received a number of inquiries regarding families getting together with the upcoming holidays. While the health, safety and welfare of the people we support remains our top priority, we recognize how difficult it is when people are separated. We continue to encourage contact through phone calls, video chats and letters as well as scheduling time to visit individuals at their homes. This remains an excellent way to stay connected and is highly encouraged. Beginning Friday, November 20th, scheduled visits to family homes will be allowed.

Scheduling visits to the Family Home:

  • At least five (5) days before the visit would takes place, call the Residential Manager of the location where your family member lives.
  • Discuss what you plan to do during the visit and answer some COVID-19 related questions
  • If we determine your plan for the visit may put others at risk, we will ask you to make alternate plans.
  • The 5 days’ notice is necessary so pharmacy can be contacted to prepare needed medications.
  • These visits should be spaced at least two weeks apart. This is to limit frequency and give adequate time to monitor for symptoms between visits.
  • If any family members are sick, not feeling well, or have a pending COVID-19 test, the visit should be rescheduled.
  • You should not plan for large family gatherings during the visit. Limit the visit to immediate family members only and follow CDC guidance for no gatherings of more than 10 people.
  • Do not go shopping or participate in other community activities during the visit. These visits are to give an opportunity for families to reconnect. The expectation is that you would spend time at home together as a family.
  • Practice good hygiene and handwashing during the visit.

Upon return from the home visit:

  • When the person comes back to DakotAbilities, staff will take their temperature 2X daily, as well as monitor for symptoms of COVID-19.
  • The person will quarantine to their room for 7 days.
  • Meals will be served in their room.
  • If/when the person is in any shared living space, they will be asked to wear a mask, use hand sanitizers and practice social distancing.

The guidelines above must be followed for every upcoming family home visit. They are subject to change based on the latest information and we reserve the right to step back if necessary to ensure safety.

For any families not following these guidelines, including the need to call ahead of time to arrange for the visit, or follow proper safety precautions, we may not allow the visit or future visits to take place. It is our duty to keep people safe during the pandemic, which includes requiring families and staff to diligently follow the safety precautions that have been put in place.

We ALL have a responsibility to make appropriate choices and to follow best practices. It is important that we remain vigilant in our efforts and continue to follow procedures throughout our facilities with guidance from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), South Dakota Department of Health and statistical analysis.

DakotAbilities remains committed to protecting the health of individuals we support, our staff who support them and our community. We continue to monitor and adjust as appropriate noting the vulnerabilities of those we serve. Your actions will have an impact on not only your family member but also impact the lives of those they live with along with the staff who work with them.

If you should have any questions, please contact your Service Coordinator or one of our Leadership Team members.

Sincerely,

Nathan

Nathan Stallinga CFRE

Executive Director

“Working together, we create opportunities and meaningful lives for people with disabilities”

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