FARGO, ND | Friday, March 20, 2020 –Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota views the health and well-being of our clients and team members as our No. 1 concern. As such, we are instituting precautions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in North Dakota.
At the same time, we know thousands of North Dakotans depend on us to provide vital services and programs during this uncertain and stressful time in our world.
We have determined that the most responsible course of action is to immediately close all LSS program centers across the state, while also continuing to offer as many services as possible via telehealth appointments, videoconferencing and telephone sessions. LSS staff have transitioned to working remotely and are committed to the continuation of bringing our 50+ programs to as many North Dakotans as possible.
Remote and virtual services will remain our primary mode of delivery until further notice. LSS leaders will continue to reassess the situation based on the status of COVID-19. We appreciate your understanding and patience as we adjust service delivery in efforts to ensure the health and safety of our staff and clients:
· As our senior citizens represent the most vulnerable population to COVID-19, we have suspended statewide home visits by our Senior and Volunteer Companions. However, as many elders served by our Aging Life Care program are typically homebound, physically fragile and especially dependent on care-coordination services, we will continue those home visits, with caseworkers strictly adhering to CDC hygiene and social-distancing protocols.
· All appointments with Abound Counseling providers will now be provided by telehealth. Current clients should connect with their provider to discuss continuation of service by telehealth. In efforts to make mental-health services available as widely as possible, we will be accepting new clients, also via telehealth. New clients can make appointments by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
· Our many service lines serving children and their families will continue but will be delivered in creative new ways.
· We applaud the dedicated staff in our vital 24/7 programming, including Luther Hall psychiatric residential treatment center in Fargo and Attendant Care site in Grand Forks, who continue to operate with additional protocols in place for health and safety for our clients and staff.
· All events, including regular group meetings, have been cancelled or postponed in keeping with local, state and federal recommendations. Individual group facilitators will be in touch with group participants to establish alternative ways to gather virtually, or to connect individually via telephone.
To learn more about how specific services are being modified to respond to this public-health emergency, please visit www.lssnd.org/covid19. If you have specific questions or need special modifications in order to receive services during this time, please contact Abby Tow at firstname.lastname@example.org or 701-371-1696.
We are grateful for your understanding and support during this difficult time in our communities and world, and we are confident in our agency’s ability to continue to serve our mission, while doing our best to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.