Burgum allows for changes to maintain critical services for vulnerable youths during COVID-19 pandemic

BISMARCK, N.D. –Gov. Doug Burgum Monday signed an executive order allowing for changes necessary to maintain critical operations for vulnerable youths being served in Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facilities and Qualified Residential Treatment Programs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“These are challenging times for these facilities, and often responses and decisions need to be made quickly for the safety of youth and families,” Burgum said. “We remain committed to ensuring that youths and families receive quality care while also following CDC guidelines and social distancing practices.”

North Dakota has six Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facilities with a total of 82 beds: Luther Hall in Fargo, Pride Manchester House in Bismarck, Ruth Meiers Adolescent Treatment Center in Grand Forks, and Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch in Bismarck, Fargo and Minot.

The state has fourQualified Residential Treatment Programs with a total of 92 beds:  Home On The Range in Beach, Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch in Minot and Fargo, and Charles Hall Youth and Family Services in Bismarck.

The facilities worked with the North Dakota Department of Human Services to identify necessary changes. The executive order:

  • Suspends state regulations that require routine health care checks that are often not available and are not urgent.
  • Allows for alternative service options such as telehealth.
  • Allows employees to utilize online training versus in-person requirements.
  • Allows for state background checks while national checks are suspended during this emergency.
  • Extends the expiration date of programs by 120 days to delay routine on-site visits.
  • Allows for two-person staffing with required training.

The North Dakota Department of Health today confirmed 23 additional cases of COVID-19, bringing the state’s total to 331 confirmed cases. Forty individuals have been hospitalized, with 13 currently hospitalized; 127 have recovered, and nine people with COVID-19 have died. A total of 10,781 tests have been completed.

For more information on the state’s COVID-19 response, visit www.health.nd.gov/coronavirus or www.ndresponse.gov.

Press release from Governor Burgum’s office.

Sabrina Halvorson

Sabrina is the anchor and reporter for the Dakota News Network, as well as digital director and farm broadcaster for American Ag Radio Network. She travels a lot for the network and enjoys sharing stories and photos from the road - and sometimes the road of life.

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