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October 16th COVID-19 Update

TO: All Families / Guardians

DATE: October 16th, 2020

FROM: Nathan Stallinga, Executive Director

SUBJECT: Update on COVID-19

UPDATE on visitations. Heidi Loof, Director of Residential Services and her team along with input and review from our Leadership Team have developed a Cold Weather Visitation Plan. Beginning Monday, October 19th, we will move to Cold Weather Phase 2.

Visitations will occur indoors. Visitor will wait for the door to be answered, and then be escorted to the visitation area. Once in the visitation area, the temperature screen and symptoms screen (worksheet) will be completed, and hand sanitizer used by visitors (we provide) prior to starting the visit. Once the visit is over, the visitors need to immediately exit the building, ensuring that they do not stop in any common areas of the home they may need to travel through to get to the approved visitation area.

Cold Weather updates for Phase 2 of visitation:

  • Family members will be required to call the Residential Manager of the setting they are wanting to visit to arrange a day and time. All visits must be prescheduled, no drop-ins. Be mindful that others may have appointments scheduled as well so adhering to the scheduled appointment is important.
  • Only 2 outside visitors will be allowed at any one time.
  • Two 60-minute visits per person served per week between the hours of 9am-6pm.
  • Families will be allowed to visit people supported at the individual’s home.
  • Visits will take place in a pre-determined location inside the home to limit exposure in the house.
  • Individuals will not be allowed to sit in vehicles.
  • Masks will be required to be worn by all who are coming to visit the Person Supported. Individuals supported will be asked to wear masks too. Families are asked to bring their own masks.
  • Those coming to visit will need to complete a screening questionnaire. This includes: have temperatures taken and documented as they arrive for the visit. Questions about signs or symptoms and potential exposure. If you are running a temp, have symptoms or have a recent exposure incident, the visit will be postponed.
  • Hand Sanitizer will be available and used prior to and after the visit by all parties.
  • No food or drinks will be brought in or taken out to the visitation area.
  • Social distancing and avoiding personal contact is strongly encouraged.

After visits staff will—Air out the area by opening up windows/doors and run fans as much as possible. If able to obtain air disinfectant (Lysol air spray) this should be used as well. Any areas, door knobs, light switches, remotes etc. that may have been touched by visitor need to be disinfected immediately after the visitor has exited the building.

We may need to ebb and flow with visitation as we move forward. We certainly appreciate your understanding and commitment to safety. We know the unfortunate consequences of prolonged separation and isolation on our overall health and well-being and hope that we can balance safety and mental health.

Notifications of Symptoms or Exposure:

After visiting, monitor for signs and symptoms of respiratory infection for at least 14 days. Visitors are asked to inform DakotAbilities if they develop a fever or symptoms consistent with COVID-19 within 14 days of a visit so we are aware that they have been exposed to COVID-19, or test positive for COVID-19.

If your family member may have come in contact with someone who has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, you will be contacted and made aware of our actions. A positive test in a home will affect the ability to visit until the entire home is cleared by the Department of Health.

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



Nathan Stallinga CFRE

Executive Director

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


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