In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic
Update: 4.7.2020, noon
We know you may be concerned about the spread of COVID-19 (the new coronavirus) being reported in the media and how it may affect LSS services. Ensuring our clients and staff are in a safe and healthy environment is our greatest concern. We are in communication with local public health officials and will follow recommendations relative to our operations.
LSS has developed a pandemic plan that is being reviewed and revised daily to help address the rapidly changing situation.
At the current level of activation, we are raising awareness of the need for good hygiene for our staff and clients. We have implemented additional daily sanitizing in all of our facilities.
Behavioral Health Services
Clients who are displaying symptoms of illness are encouraged to cancel or reschedule their appointments. LSS has the capacity to deliver mental health and substance use services using telehealth technology. If you are interested in this option, contact our offices. Please note that not all pay sources reimburse for service delivery via telehealth. Group services are currently being limited to no more than 10 in-person participants based on CDC guidance.
Center for Financial Resources
Clients who are displaying symptoms of illness are encouraged to cancel or reschedule their appointments. LSS has the capacity to deliver services using phone, internet and video. If you are interested in this option, contact our offices. Public education is being limited to no more than 10 in-person participants based on CDC guidance.
Childcare & Education Services
LSS will be open at its Childcare & Education Programs for the week of April 6 – April 10. Care will be provided at the following times and locations:
- Southern Hills Infant-Toddler & Preschool: 7 am - 6 pm
- Southern Hills Afterschool: 7 am - 6 pm with limited availability (call center to enroll); afterschool care available 2 pm – 6 pm
- East Side Afterschool: Closed
- Hilltop Afterschool: 9 am – 5 pm with limited availability (call center to enroll); afterschool care available 2pm-6pm
- Here4Youth: 8 am – 5 pm with limited availability (call center to enroll); afterschool care available 2 pm – 6pm
Parents are reminded to keep their children home if they display signs of illness. We will be following very strict illness exclusion procedures in order to ensure the safety of our students and staff. Children will have their temperatures taken upon arrival and throughout the day. Any child who displays symptoms of illness will be sent home.
We continue to increased sanitation of common areas and toys to prevent the spread of illness. We are implementing increased hand washing for staff and students, and educating students on proper handwashing techniques. We are also maintaining group sizes of 10 or less per CDC guidelines.
Please note that this plan is subject to change based on this rapidly developing situation. We remain in communication with local public health officials and recommendations from the government regarding the operation of childcare facilities. For updates, please re-visit our website at LssSD.org.
We know that many mentors are concerned about their students. As a result, the Sioux Falls School District is providing an option for mentors to communicate with their student through their parent/guardian. If interested, mentors in the Sioux Falls School District can contact LSS or school counseling staff and ask them to seek permission for mentors to get parent email addresses for the purpose of checking in on their students. If given, Everyday Heroes mentors are still not approved for in-person visits outside of school. If a mentor is interested in meeting with their student outside of school, both the mentor and student must enroll in the LSS Climb Program. LSS Climb and USucceed volunteers may continue to meet at this time, although it is encouraged to limit in-person interactions.
Due to the vulnerability of Better Together clients and many living in facilities with restricted visitation, Better Together volunteers need to limit interactions to phone and/or mail.
Center for New Americans
English language classes are cancelled for the week of April 6-10. Online classes begin April 13.
Residential Services for Children & Youth
We have implemented increased sanitation throughout facilities and have implemented symptom monitoring of residents and staff to try to avoid illness within our facilities. At this time, no visitors are allowed on site. Visitation is being completed via Zoom and phone.
Hope Grows in the Northeast, April 18
We are compelled to cancel this years’ Hope Grows in the Northeast event. In years past, the funds raised during Hope Grows Northeast have been used to provide much-needed funding for our youth at New Beginnings Center, as well as ensuring affordable Behavioral Health Services is available to those who need. Please consider a financial gift in lieu of attending the event this year. You can give online on our secure donation page. Remember to check the box that says to use your gift for services in the Northeast. Thank you! For more information on the Hope Grows in the Northeast event cancellation.
Mentor Appreciation Breakfast, April 23
The 19th Annual LSS Mentor Appreciation Breakfast will be postponed to a date announced later.
Hope Grows in the Black Hills, May 3
We are compelled to cancel this years’ Hope Grows in the Black Hills event. In years past, the funds raised during our Hope Grows event have been used to provide much-needed funding for services in western South Dakota including affordable Behavioral Health Services. Please consider a financial gift in lieu of attending the event this year. You can give online on our secure donation page. Remember to check the box that says to use your gift for services in the Black Hills. Thank you!
LSS is re-educating our staff and clients on infection control and how to protect our community. Below are recommendations that we can all follow to prevent the spread of illness:
- Sick employees should stay at home. At this time, we request that they stay home if they have any symptoms of respiratory illness. Those symptoms include cough, fever, and/or shortness of breath.
- Notify us if they develop respiratory symptoms while at work. These include cough, fever, and/or shortness of breath.
- Practice proper hand washing hygiene.
- Cover their mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
- Perform routine environmental cleaning.