COVID-19 Important Announcements

Updated October 30th

Dear YBGR Stakeholders,

As the number of cases of COVID continue to increase in our state, our staff have been committed to reducing the transmission of the disease through following the guidelines and recommendations of our County Health Office and the CDC.  As part of this commitment, YBGR resolves to be transparent and provide accurate and timely information. Thank you for your partnership and trust in our organization. 

Yesterday, I was informed that another member of our family has tested positive for COVID-19.  As always, our thoughts go to this staff member, and we are praying for a quick and complete recovery.

Here are the details that I can share: 

  • This staff member is a member of the PRTF team and worked directly with youth.   
  • The staff member’s symptoms began on Thursday, October 22nd, at the end of their scheduled shift.   
  • Following the guidelines of staying home when sick, Thursday, October 22nd was the staff’s last day of work.  They were tested for COVID on Monday, October 26th
  • As with any positive test result, RiverStone Health will conduct contact tracing and will contact any individual deemed at risk. 

YBGR has not yet been contacted by RiverStone Health regarding this case.  When or if we receive information regarding specific risk, we will follow all recommendations and guidelines provided by RiverStone Health. 

In the meantime, we continue to monitor all youth for symptoms and will respond accordingly.  Staff members identified through contract tracing will be directly contacted by RiverStone health.

As of today, no youth at YBGR PRTF has displayed any symptoms related to COVID-19.

Previous guidance to employees including social distancing, frequent handwashing, sanitization and not coming to work when sick remains in effect.  Temperature checks are done daily on all youth and staff members.  Youth also continue to be isolated to lodge groupings, with meals delivered, and regular cleaning and sanitation of common areas and equipment.  All staff are required to wear masks while interacting with others.

Thank you all for your concern, support and understanding during these unprecedented and difficult times.  Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns that you may have. 

Mike Chavers, CEO


Updated October 26th

Dear YBGR Stakeholders,

YBGR remains committed transparency and providing accurate and timely information regarding our services. Thank you for your partnership and trust in our organization. 

Yesterday, we were informed that an additional member of the YBGR family has tested positive for COVID-19.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to this member of our family. 

This staff member is a member of our Community Based Services team, located here in Billings and working in a community school-based setting.  They were tested on Thursday, October 22nd, following being notified by contract tracing and recognition of minor symptoms.  The staff member’s last day of work with youth was Tuesday, October 20th.  The staff member did not have any contact with youth or staff on the YBGR campus.  As with any positive test result, RiverStone Health will conduct contact tracing and will contact any individual deemed at risk. 

As of today, there are no youth displaying symptoms of COVID-19 on the YBGR campus. 

In accordance to the guidance provided by the County Health Officer and RiverStone Health, due to the nature of this situation, it has been determined that there is not a significant risk which would require additional testing of youth at YBGR.  Previous guidance to employees including social distancing, frequent handwashing, sanitization and not coming to work when sick remains in effect.  Temperature checks are done daily on all youth and staff members.  Youth also continue to be isolated to lodge groupings, with meals delivered, and regular cleaning and sanitation of common areas and equipment.  All staff are required to wear masks while interacting with others. 

Thank you all for your concern, support and understanding during these unprecedented and difficult times.  Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns that you may have. 

Mike Chavers, CEO


Updated October 19th

Thank you all for your concern, support and understanding during these unprecedented and difficult times.  YBGR remains committed transparency and providing accurate and timely information regarding our services. 

Over the weekend, we were informed that an additional member of the YBGR family has tested positive for COVID-19.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to this member of our family. 

This staff member is a member of our Community Based Services team, located here in Billings and working in a community school-based setting.  They began to have symptoms and were tested on Thursday, October 15th.  Since the onset of the symptoms, the staff member has not returned to work.  The staff member did not have any contact with youth or staff on the YBGR campus.  As with any positive test result, RiverStone Health will conduct contact tracing and will contact any individual deemed at risk. 

As of today, there are no youth displaying symptoms of COVID-19 on the YBGR campus. 

In accordance to the guidance provided by the County Health Officer and RiverStone Health, due to the nature of this situation, it has been determined that there is not a significant risk which would require additional testing of youth at YBGR.  Previous guidance to employees including social distancing, frequent handwashing, sanitization and not coming to work when sick remains in effect.  Temperature checks are done daily on all youth and staff members.  Youth also continue to be isolated to lodge groupings, with meals delivered, and regular cleaning and sanitation of common areas and equipment.  All staff are required to wear masks while interacting with others. 

Thank you again for your partnership and trust.  Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns that you may have. 

Mike Chavers, CEO


Updated October 8th

Dear YBGR Stakeholders,

Thank you all for your concern, support and understanding during these unprecedented and difficult times.  YBGR remains committed transparency and providing accurate and timely information regarding our services. 

Earlier today, we were informed that an additional member of the YBGR family has tested positive for COVID-19.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to this member of our family.  The staff member has not been in any YBGR offices or facilities since Wednesday, September 23rd, and did not report to have symptoms until Friday, October 2nd.  As a member of our Community Based Services team, they had been working remotely or int the community, and their contact with other employees or youth was limited.

RiverStone Health has begun contact tracing and follow up, and YBGR will coordinate our response based upon their guidance.

As of today, there are no youth displaying symptoms of COVID-19 on the YBGR campus. 

In accordance to the guidance provided by the County Health Officer and RiverStone Health, due to the nature of this situation, it has been determined that there is not a significant risk which would require additional testing of youth at YBGR.  Previous guidance to employees including social distancing, frequent handwashing, sanitization and not coming to work when sick remains in effect.  Temperature checks are done daily on all youth and staff members.  Youth also continue to be isolated to lodge groupings, with meals delivered, and regular cleaning and sanitation of common areas and equipment.  All staff are required to wear masks while interacting with others. 

Thank you again for your partnership and trust.  Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns that you may have. 

Mike Chavers, CEO


Updated October 6th

Dear YBGR Stakeholders,

YBGR is committed to be a transparent and cooperative partner and providing accurate and timely information regarding our services.  We are grateful concern, support and understanding during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Earlier today, we were informed that an additional member of the YBGR family has tested positive for COVID-19.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to this member of our family.  The staff member has not been on campus since Thursday, October 1st, and did not report to have symptoms until later that evening.  As an administrative staff, their contact with other employees was limited, and they have had no contact with youth. 

RiverStone Health has begun contact tracing and follow up, and YBGR will coordinate our response based upon their guidance.

As of today, there are no youth displaying symptoms of COVID-19 on the YBGR campus. 

In accordance to the guidance provided by the County Health Officer and RiverStone Health, due to the nature of this situation, it has been determined that there is not a significant risk which would require additional testing of youth at YBGR.  Previous guidance to employees including social distancing, frequent handwashing, sanitization and not coming to work when sick remains in effect.  Temperature checks are done daily on all youth and staff members.  Youth also continue to be isolated to lodge groupings, with meals delivered, and regular cleaning and sanitation of common areas and equipment.  All staff are required to wear masks while interacting with others. 

Thank you again for your partnership and trust.  Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns that you may have. 

Mike Chavers, CEO


Updated October 2nd

Dear YBGR Stakeholders,

Thank you all for your concern, support and understanding during the COVID-19 pandemic. YBGR is committed to be a transparent and cooperative partner and providing accurate and timely information regarding our services. 

Earlier today, we were informed that a member of the YBGR family has tested positive for COVID-19.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to this member of our family.  The staff member has not been on campus since Friday, September 25th, and did not report to have symptoms until after that date.  As an administrative staff, their contact with other employees was limited, and they have had no contact with youth. 

RiverStone Health has begun contact tracing and follow up, and YBGR will coordinate our response based upon their guidance.

As of today, there are no youth displaying symptoms of COVID-19 on the YBGR campus. 

In accordance to the guidance provided by the County Health Officer and RiverStone Health, due to the nature of this situation, it has been determined that there is not a significant risk which would require additional testing of youth at YBGR.

As promised, we are communicating and coordinating with the County Health Officer and RiverStone Health on an on-going basis.  Previous guidance to employees including social distancing, frequent handwashing, sanitization and not coming to work when sick remains in effect.  Temperature checks are done daily on all youth and staff members.  Youth also continue to be isolated to lodge groupings, with meals delivered, and regular cleaning and sanitation of common areas and equipment.  All staff are required to wear masks while interacting with others. 

Thank you again for your partnership and trust.  Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns that you may have. 

Mike Chavers, CEO


Updated September 8th

Dear YBGR Stakeholders,

Thank you all for your support, understanding and patience as we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.  Because of the steps taken at YBGR, we continue to have no cases of COVID-19 among youth on the PRTF.  Also, thankfully, this email isn’t an announcement regarding a positive COVID-19 case among the YBGR family. 

As Governor Bullock has changed the visitation guidance for senior care facilities, YBGR will also be making changes to the visitation procedures for youth served on the PRTF.  Beginning this week, parents and caregivers will be allowed to visit youth in person, with the following restrictions and guidelines:

  • Campus visitation must be scheduled and approved in advance, through the Treatment Coordinators.
  • All visitation will occur on campus.  Off-campus or overnight passes are not approved. 
  • Orth Family Center remains closed.  Visitors will not be provided with on-campus housing.
  • Only two adult visitors will be allowed to visit a youth on campus at a time.  No visitors under the age of 18.   
  • Visits will be two hours in length and occur between the hours of 9:00am and 7:00pm.  Extended visitation may be requested through the Treatment Coordinator prior to the visit.  Extended visitation may be granted on a case-by-case basis, dependent upon availability and distance traveled.   Approval for extended visitation will be granted through consultation with the Director of Clinic Operations and the Executive Director of PRTF.
  • Upon arrival to the parking lot nearest the Clinic, visitors will put on a mask and call the clinic, 406-651-2818, without exiting their vehicle.  If a visitor does not have a mask, one will be provided. 
  • A clinic staff will go to the parking area and perform a check-in procedure on the vehicle occupants, which will include temperature and symptom checks, as well as verification of non-exposure. 
    • If any occupants of the vehicle have a temperature of more than 100 degrees or displays symptoms, the visit will be cancelled, and the visitors will be required to immediately leave the premises.  
    • Occupants will also be asked to verify that they have not been exposed to someone with COVID-19 or someone with symptoms of COVID-19 within the last 48 hours.  If a visitor has been exposed, the visit will be cancelled, and the visitors will be required to immediately leave the premises.
  • Upon completing the check-in procedure, visitors will be escorted by the clinic staff to the approved visitation area, which is the fenced area on the east side of the Brekkeflat / Clinic building.
  • Visitors must remain within the fenced area throughout the visitation time.  Only one family will be allowed within the visitation area at a time. 
  • Masks must be worn by visitors and the youth throughout the visit. 
  • Visitors will not be allowed into any buildings. No restroom facilities will be provided during the visit.  The area will be covered but visitors must be prepared for changing weather conditions.  
  • All visits will start and end promptly at the scheduled time to allow others to visit and to prevent inadvertent transmission between families.  Visitation will not be extended past the scheduled time for any reason, including late arrival. 

Refusal to follow the guidelines or leaving the visitation area, will result in the visitation being terminated.  

I understand that these restrictions are just that – restrictive, and I share the frustration over the steps that COVID-19 requires us to take.  Many of our youth, their families, as well as our staff, have underlying conditions that place them at higher risk for serious complications from COVID-19.  Additionally, with contract tracing requirements, even a small number of cases within the PRTF could result in the mandatory quarantine of enough staff to significantly impact the care and safety of youth.  Clearly, that is an outcome that we would like very much to avoid.  Thank you for your understanding and support. 

Again, I appreciate not only your support and understanding.  Please feel free to ask questions or give feedback.  I very much appreciate both. 

Respectfully,
Mike


Updated August 24th

Dear YBGR Stakeholders,

Thank you all for your concern, support and understanding during the COVID-19 pandemic. YBGR is committed to be a transparent and cooperative partner and providing accurate and timely information regarding our services. 

Once again, earlier today, we were informed that a member of the YBGR family has tested positive for COVID-19.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to this member of our family.  This staff member was last on campus on Thursday, August 20th, for training and campus tour.  During this time, as well as the previous two days, the staff member was masked. There was limited contact or interaction with any youth, and none more than 15 minutes or closer than six feet. 

RiverStone Health has begun contact tracing and follow up, and YBGR will coordinate our response based upon their guidance.

As of today, there are no youth displaying symptoms of COVID-19 on the YBGR campus. 

In working with the County Health Officer and RiverStone Health, due to the nature of this situation, they have determined that there is not a significant risk which would require additional testing of staff or youth at YBGR. 

As promised, we are communicating and coordinating with the County Health Officer and RiverStone Health on an on-going basis.  Previous guidance to employees including social distancing, frequent handwashing, sanitization and not coming to work when sick remains in effect.  Temperature checks are done daily on all youth and staff members.  Youth also continue to be isolated to lodge groupings, with meals delivered, and regular cleaning and sanitation of common areas and equipment.  All staff are required to wear masks while interacting with others. 

Thank you again for your partnership and trust.  Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns that you may have. 

Mike Chavers, CEO


Updated August 19, 2020

Dear YBGR Stakeholders,

YBGR is committed to be a transparent and cooperative partner and providing accurate and timely information regarding our services.  Thank you all for your concern, support and understanding during these unprecedented and difficult times. 

Yesterday, we were informed that another of our family has tested positive for COVID-19.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to this staff and we are hoping for a quick and full recovery. 

This staff member was last on campus on Tuesday, August 11th, for a school staff meeting, in which all staff, including this individual, wore masks.  The staff member had no contact with any youth while on campus.  Prior to this, the individual had not been on campus since the beginning of the school break, on Tuesday, July 31st. 

As of today, there are no youth displaying symptoms of COVID-19 on the YBGR campus. 

In working with the County Health Officer and RiverStone Health, due to the nature of this situation, they have determined that there is not a significant risk which would require additional testing of staff or youth at YBGR. 

As promised, we are communicating and coordinating with the County Health Officer and RiverStone Health on an on-going basis.  Previous guidance to employees including social distancing, frequent handwashing, sanitization and not coming to work when sick remains in effect.  Temperature checks are done daily on all youth and staff members.  Youth also continue to be isolated to lodge groupings, with meals delivered, and regular cleaning and sanitation of common areas and equipment.  All staff are required to wear masks while interacting with others. 

YBGR and Yellowstone Academy (YA) are working together to ensure that YA Day School service can resume in-person education services in a safe way for youth that do not reside on the YBGR campus.  As we resume these services, we will continue to cooperate and coordinate with the County Health Officer.  Youth receiving services through Day School services at YA will not have any interaction with youth residing on the YBGR campus. 

Thank you again for your partnership and trust.  Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns that you may have. 

Mike Chavers, CEO


Updated July 27, 2020

Dear YBGR Stakeholders,

YBGR is committed to be a transparent and cooperative partner and providing accurate and timely information regarding our services.  Thank you all for your concern, support and understanding during these unprecedented and difficult times. 

Earlier today, we were contacted by RiverStone Health informing us that another of our family has tested positive for COVID-19.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to this staff and we are hoping for a quick and full recovery.  This staff member last worked one week ago, July 20th, on Fortin East, when they left work early due to illness. 

As of today, there are no youth displaying symptoms of COVID-19 at YBGR. 

In working with the County Health Officer and RiverStone Health, due to the nature of this situation, they have determined that there is not a significant risk which would require additional testing of staff or youth at YBGR. 

As promised, we are communicating and coordinating with the County Health Officer and RiverStone Health on an on-going basis.  Previous guidance to employees including social distancing, frequent handwashing, sanitization and not coming to work when sick remains in effect.  Temperature checks are done daily on all youth and staff members.  Youth also continue to be isolated to lodge groupings, with meals delivered, and regular cleaning and sanitation of common areas and equipment. 

Thank you again for your partnership and trust.  Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns that you may have. 

Mike Chavers, CEO


Update July 21, 2020

Dear YBGR Stakeholders,

Thank you all for your on-going support and understanding.   YBGR continues to be diligent in ensuring the health and safety of our staff and those we serve.  We also remain committed to being transparent and cooperative partners, providing accurate and timely information during these challenging times. 

Earlier today, I was informed by RiverStone Health that a member of the YBGR family has tested positive for COVID-19.  RiverStone Health has begun contact tracing and follow up, and YBGR is coordinating our services and response with RiverStone Health.

Here is what we know right now:

  • This staff member last worked one week ago (July 14th) on Jessie Grant. 
  • The staff member did not begin to have symptoms until after leaving work. 

YBGR is coordinating and cooperating with RiverStone health to ensure the health and safety of both our youth and employees.  At this time, RiverStone has stated that youth served at YBGR do not require testing, due to the precautions and ongoing monitoring occurring at YBGR. 

As of today, no youth at YBGR is displaying any symptoms related to COVID-19.

As a reminder, we are continuing to practice precautionary and preventative measures, including social distancing and frequent handwashing.  Temperature checks are done daily on all youth and staff members.  Youth also continue to be isolated to lodge groupings, with meals delivered, and regular cleaning and sanitation of common areas and equipment occurs.  All staff are required to wear masks while interacting with youth. 

Thank you again for your partnership and trust.  Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns that you may have. 

Mike Chavers, CEO


Update July 14, 2020

Dear YBGR Stakeholders,

Thank you all for your concern, support and understanding during these unprecedented and difficult times.  YBGR is committed to be a transparent and cooperative partner and providing accurate and timely information regarding our services. 

Late Sunday, I was informed that a second YBGR staff member has received a confirmed positive test result for COVID-19.  It is important to note that the staff member has not been present at YBGR since June 28th.

In working with the County Health Officer and RiverStone Health, due to the nature of this situation, they have determined that there is not a significant risk which would require additional testing of staff or youth at YBGR.

The facts, as we understand them, are these:

  • a family member of the staff first tested positive on or around July 3rd.  As a reminder, the staff member had not worked since Sunday, June 28th, six days prior to the positive test of the family member and prior to the onset of symptoms. 
  • The staff member was subsequently tested. 
  • This past Sunday, July 12th, was when we were notified of a positive test result.   

As promised, we are communicating and coordinating with the County Health Officer and RiverStone Health on an on-going basis.  Previous guidance to employees including social distancing, frequent handwashing, not coming to work when sick remains in effect.  Temperature checks are done daily on all youth and staff members.  Youth also continue to be isolated to lodge groupings, with meals delivered, and regular cleaning and sanitation of common areas and equipment. 

Due to the rapid increase in the number of cases of COVID-19 in Montana, we are moving PRTF back to phone/video visits. On-campus visits will be paused.  While a difficult decision to make, we believe this action will ensure the health and safety of both our youth and staff.

On a positive note, the staff member that tested positive on July 9th has made a full recovery and is in the process of being medically cleared to safely return to work. 

Thank you again for your partnership and trust.  Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns that you may have. 

Mike Chavers, CEO


Update July 9, 2020

Dear YBGR Stakeholders,

Thank you all for your concern, support and understanding during these unprecedented and difficult times.  YBGR is committed to be a transparent and cooperative partner and providing accurate and timely information regarding our services. 

Earlier today, I was notified that a YBGR staff member tested positive for COVID-19.  First and foremost, our thoughts go to this staff member, and we are praying for a quick and complete recovery.  This staff member is a part-time, administrative staff.  Their contact with other employees has been limited, and they have had no contact with youth.  The staff member has not been on campus since noon on Wednesday, July 1, 2020, and did not report to have symptoms until after that date.

Thankfully, this situation seems to be low risk for transmission to other employees or youth on campus.  We will be using this situation as a learning opportunity and making adjustments in guidance to prevent further transmission or outbreaks.  Simply put, the health of those we serve is important, and we will respond according to our values of Integrity, Respect, Relationship, Safety and Stewardship.

Because we have had a confirmed positive case among our family, we have communicated with the County Health Officer, updated our guidelines and are taking specific actions.  We commit to following the most current information and guidance, and to communicate with you regularly. 

Due to the confirmed case of COVID-19 of a YBGR staff member, beginning on Friday, July 10, 2020, here are the updated guidance and requirements:

Face masks will be required for all staff and visitors when interacting with othersMasks are to be worn anytime others are present, regardless of how many people are in proximity. Those not wearing masks will be asked to wear a mask or leave campus.  Masks will be provided upon request.

All YBGR staff will receive refresher training on transmission precautions and handwashing. 

Previous guidance to employees including social distancing, frequent handwashing, not coming to work when sick remains in effect.  Temperature checks are done daily on all youth and staff members and visitors.  Youth also continue to be isolated to lodge groupings, with meals delivered, and regular cleaning and sanitation of common areas and equipment. 

Thank you again for your partnership and trust.  Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns that you may have. 

Mike Chavers, CEO

 


Update June 8, 2020

Dear family members and caregivers of youth served at YBGR,

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we have navigated the unprecedented impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.  As the state of Montana has begun to loosen restrictions and change guidelines as part of Phase 2, YBGR is also adjusting. 

Beginning June 15th, we will begin to allow parents and caregivers to visit youth on campus, under the following conditions:

  • Campus visitation must be scheduled and approved in advance, through the Treatment Coordinators
  • All visitation will occur on campus.  No off-campus or overnight passes will be approved. 
  • Orth Family Center remains closed.  Visitors will not be provided with on-campus housing.
  • Only two adult visitors will be allowed to visit a youth on campus at a time.  No visitors under the age of 18.   
  • All visitors must check in at the clinic for symptom screening, including temperature checks, and badge assignment, prior to the visit.  Visitors must present this badge before being allowed to visit a youth.
  • Visits will occur outside only, in assigned areas.   Visitors will not be allowed into any buildings, other than the clinic to check in and out.  Designated areas will provide cover from rain, such as the McFarlane Plaza gazebos. 
  • Visits will be limited to two hours in length and occur between the hours of 9am and 7pm.
  • Masks must be worn by both visitors and the youth throughout the visit.  Social distancing from other groups will be required. 
  • Visitors must check out at the clinic at the end of the visit. 
  • Refusal to follow the guidelines will result in the visit being ended and the visitor being asked to leave the premises. 

YBGR remains committed to maintaining the health and safety of your children.  In order to reduce the risk of transmission, we continue to screen all admissions for COVID-19 symptoms, and we will not be admitting youth with active symptoms.  Youth will remain in lodge groups for meals, recreation, school and therapy.  Meals continue to be delivered to the lodges, rather than going to the dining hall.  A quarantine unit is available, if it were to be necessary. 

Thank you again for your patience and understanding during these challenging and unprecedented times.  We appreciate your commitment to your child’s physical and mental health, and we are grateful for your partnership.  

Respectfully,
Mike Chavers, CEO

1 thought on “COVID-19 Important Announcements

  1. Thank you Mike for you clear communication and leadership, and to everyone at YBGR working to help to protect each other so you can protect our youth.

    We’ll look forward to further news about campus decisions as you manage through this fast-evolving, stressful but ultimately overcomeable emergency situation.

    Grateful for everything you and the very special Yellowstone community are doing for all students and families, for Montana and the world.

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