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September 22nd COVID-19 Update

TO: All Families / Guardians

DATE: September 22nd, 2020

FROM: Nathan Stallinga, Executive Director

SUBJECT: Update on COVID-19

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. Phase 1 encourages contact through phone calls, video chats and letters. This remains an excellent way to stay connected and is highly encouraged. Beginning Monday, September 28th, we will move to Phase 2. This gives families the opportunity to see each other while still taking precautions to limit exposures and risks.

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.
  • Only 2 outside visitors will be allowed at any one time.
  • Two 60-minute visit per person served per week between the hours of 9am-6pm.
  • Families will be allowed to visit people supported at the individual’s home and must remain onsite.
  • Visits will take place onsite, outside the home or in the open garage 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 and encouraged to bring their own chairs.
  • At the Apartment settings (Trinity & Sycamore/Greenway), visitors will also be required to be outside of the apartment. The community room will NOT be used for visits.
  • 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.

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. While navigating this journey, we reserved the right to step back if necessary to ensure safety.

Notifications: 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

Director of Development

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

Phase 2:

Residential Services:

Only essential personnel permitted.

Visitors/Home Visits:

Porch visit may occur (2) times per week for 60 minutes, two persons can visit at time. Arrangements must be made in advance with the residential manager.

Medical Services:

Appointments resume while encouraging Telemed and essential appointments. A list of appointments can be found on Therap.

Day Services/Employment:

  1. Individuals who receive Day Services only. Evaluated on current trends.

Residential and Day Services: Occur in residential home.

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 should be utilized for recreation/leisure activities.

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