The safety and well-being of our youth and staff team members are our first priority at Charles Hall Youth & Family Services. With news coverage and daily updates to government recommendations and mandates regarding COVID-19 (novel coronavirus), be assured that our agency is working hard to take precautions to help keep our Charles Hall family protected during this time. We will continue to work to be proactive and responsive to prevent the spread of Coronavirus and Influenza A and B to protect our youth, staff, families, volunteers and other stakeholders. 

For the safety of our clients and staff, Charles Hall Youth & Family Services is taking precautionary steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. The purpose of these steps is to minimize the risk to our clients, minimize the risk to staff in order to continue caregiving, and minimize gatherings of 10 or more people on and off agency sites. All precautions are in effect until further notice, and follow the guidelines set out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and North Dakota’s Department of Health.

To see how Charles Hall’s services will be impacted, please see below.

Residential

Access to all of Charles Hall’s group homes (Good Bird and Hall) are restricted to only essential staff. No outside visitors will be permitted to enter the group homes, including family members, custodians/case managers, and other guests. We will utilize video conferencing and telephone to connect our youth to significant others during this time for family communication and all case management and therapy-oriented activities. 

As we take the health and safety of our youth and staff very seriously, protocols are in place related to home visits and other contact of youth and staff in the community (e.g., physician visit). 

Agency protocols in place focus on screening for: 1) persons who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, 2) persons who have been exposed to someone diagnosed with COVID-19, 3) persons exhibiting respiratory infection (e.g., cough, sore throat, fever, shortness of breath), or 4) contact with persons exhibiting respiratory infection. Contact Residential Services Director Tomi Cimarosti for more information and to answer any questions: tomi.cimarosti@charleshallyouthservices.com or 701-255-2773, ext. 310. 

All new residents will have their temperature taken upon admission and be screened for respiratory symptoms, even if mild. If a new resident has a fever, they will be held in medical isolation from other youth and staff.

School

Currently, Charles Hall youth will not attend academic classes in area schools, as Bismarck Public Schools and other North Dakota public schools remain closed due to executive order from our state’s governor.

Group Home Preventative Measures

Body temperature of youth and staff will be measured and logged daily. Procedures are in place for a course of action for staff and youth who exhibit a temperature of 100 or more degrees, including isolating those with illness within the congregate setting (youth in care) and self-isolating at home for agency staff with determined timeframes before returning to work.

Handwashing remains the single most effective method of lessening the spread of COVID-19 in our agency facilities. In addition, hand sanitizer is available in all facilities. Youth and staff have been instructed not to touch their mouth, eyes, or nose; cough or sneeze into a tissue and throw it away; as well as other precautions recommended by the CDC. Also, our group homes have a schedule for disinfecting the home and office environment multiple times each day including all surfaces, faucets and bathroom fixtures, and other places where germs can be transmitted. Finally, social distancing remains important to all of us at Charles Hall Youth & Family Services, both while in our facilities and when out in the community (e.g., staff non-working hours).

Staff Preventative Measures

Agency policies and procedures are in place to direct our staff teams during the current COVID-19 pandemic. Protocols are in place related to testing, staying home when sick, returning to work criteria, and developing responsive strategies to mitigate staffing shortages.

For more information about the novel coronavirus, please visit the following links: