Teton Youth & Family Services’s response to Covid-19

Last Updated: Wednesday, March 20, 2020

As a precautionary measure and in an effort to keep our staff and residents safe, the following infection control protocols will be effective immediately. These protocols will remain in effect indefinitely from the date of this document and until the Leadership Team deem appropriate. We will continue to monitor the situation on a daily basis and pass along any information and changes as needed.


Changes to TYFS’s response plan to the COVID-19 will be communicated to the Program Directors to discuss and implement with employees and clients. Additional crisis communications will adhere to our policies and procedures outlined in TYFS’s Incident Response Plan. Operational closure of the Hirschfield Center and the Van Vleck Crisis Shelter will be communicated via press release and on the www.tyfs.org website to the community and to stakeholders.

Hirschfield Center Operations

Operations at the Hirschfield Center will be suspended upon closure of schools. Therapists, Family Advocates, and Diversion Officers will provide secure Zoom Conference call services to assist families and children who are experiencing crisis. Phone calls may also be made as needed. Hirschfield Center staff will remain in regular contact with current clients.

Services will resume upon re-opening of schools.  Facility’s hard services (door handles, water fountains, bathrooms, etc.) will be disinfected three times daily. Upon suspension of the Center employees shall conduct work remotely from their home.

Families in need of Hirschfield Center services may call 307-733-7946 and leave a message for someone to return the call within 24-hours. Emergency situations should call 911.

Van Vleck Crisis Shelter

The Van Vleck Crisis Shelter will continue to be available to youth in crisis. Cases will be reviewed by the Crisis Shelter Director and Therapist, and services provided on a case by case basis and approval of new placements permitted after stringent review of risks associated to the health and welfare of the youth, other clients, and employees.

TYFS may turn away any youth that has risk factors for CORONA-19 exposure or illness.

Therapists and Case Managers will be available to families via Zoom Conference call to assist in navigating and managing crisis. Phone calls may also be made as needed. Services will resume in normal operating capacity upon re-opening of schools.

Van Vleck Group Home, Holding Facility and Red Top Meadows Residential Treatment Center

General Procedures:

  1. There will be no outside visitors allowed to enter the Group Home or Red Top Meadows. This includes but is not limited to: parents and/or family members, DFS Workers, face-to-face family therapy sessions, etc. Communication can occur by phone or by Zoom video conference as requested, regular connection and family contact will be encouraged and supported.
  2. We encourage all employees to remain calm as to not add to the anxiety of our youth.
  3. Employees are required to wash their hands at the start and end of each shift, before meals, after using the bathroom, and before and after contact with other staff and residents. Residents should also be practicing good handwashing in therapy, before meals and after restroom use.
  4. All travel outside the facility will only take place for essential activities such as doctor visits. Students shall not accompany staff on trips to the supermarket or accompany staff on other errands. Staff and students shall wash and sanitize hands upon return to the facility.
  5. Each student will be screened in the morning to assess symptoms associated with the COVID-19 Virus such as fever, dry cough, or short-breath.
  6. Any employee or 3rd party coming to the facility after leaving for a period of 24-hours will be screened for fever 100.4 degrees or above, dry cough, and shortness of breath and/or other COVID-19 symptoms.
  7. Facility’s hard surfaces (door handles, water fountains, bathrooms, etc.) will be disinfected at a minimum of two to three times daily.
  8. If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately. Emergency warning signs include: difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, lethargy, bluish lips or face, fever of 100.4 degrees or above. The Department of Family Services and Department of Health will be notified within 24-hours of any COVID-19 confirmed cases, both employee and student.
  9. Weekly employee meetings will occur as scheduled by Directors via Zoom conferencing.
  10. There will be no home visits granted at this time to contain the spread of illness and maintain the availability of our programs to the greater community. Upon re-opening of Teton County School District #1 TYFS will re-evaluate home visit opportunities. Families are encouraged to utilize Zoom Conference calls or telephone calls to continue to be connected to their children.

Quarantine Procedure:

  1. If there is a vacant bedroom, any client with a communicable disease will be moved into this room. Additionally, if the client has been sharing a room with a roommate the roommate may also be quarantined. Clients who have not been exposed will be kept in an uncontaminated area as to limit exposure to the virus.
  2. If there is not a vacant bedroom, the roommate(s) will be moved to other accommodations, i.e. the living room couch, or other clients’ bedrooms that are not fully occupied.
  3. The client will remain in isolation for as long as the healthcare provider* advises. During the time of isolation, use of the bathroom facilities will be arranged in order to prevent contact with any other clients and staff.
  4. All meals will be served to the client in the bedroom.
  5. The towels, bed linens and personal clothing will be handled and washed separately from other laundry.
  6. Any staff who will have direct contact with the client must wear disposable gloves and/or other protective garments and/or equipment. Disposal of any trash or waste will be done daily and will be placed in two bio-hazard bags and placed in the dumpster.
  7. The bedroom walls and furniture will be wiped down with 1:10 part bleach/water solution. The bedroom windows will be opened for at least fifteen minutes daily to help keep the room fresh.

Administrative Operations

Administrative meetings and operations will occur remotely. Employees will be asked to perform work from home and meetings will occur via Zoom Conference call services. This shall be implemented upon closure of the schools.

Employee Sick Time

Should an employee become diagnosed with the COVID-19 Virus Teton Youth and Family Services will extend an additional 14-days of sick leave. Documentation will be required to receive additional sick leave benefit.

Employees who have taken vacation time or are approved to take vacation time will need to consult with their supervisor to determine if this will impact their ability to return to work if they have been travelling. Employees who have visited high-risk areas on vacation are subject to a 2-week mandatory leave without regular pay to ensure the COVID-19 virus is not introduced to other employees or students.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.
  • The CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases.

Cleaning Protocols – COVID19


Current evidence suggests that novel coronavirus may remain viable for hours to days on surfaces made from a variety of materials. Cleaning of visibly dirty surfaces followed by disinfection is a best practice measure for prevention of COVID-19 and other viral respiratory illnesses in community settings.

CDC Recommends:

Prepare a bleach solution for hard surfaces by mixing:

○             5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water or

○             4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water

If desired, wear disposable gloves to protect your hands from the bleach solution.

Cleaning staff should clean hands often, including immediately after removing gloves, by washing hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available and hands are not visibly dirty, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60%-95% alcohol may be used. However, if hands are visibly dirty, always wash hands with soap and water.



Morning Checklist

❏            Wash your hands after entering the building.

❏            Prop open any internal doors in your area.

Clean After Each Use

  • Boardroom and classroom tables.
  • Any communal phone.

Clean At Least Daily

  • Your cubicle, including:

○             Phone

○             Keyboard, mouse, and mousepad.

○             Chair arms

○             Pens and pencils

○             Stapler, tape dispenser, drawer handles, anything else you touch frequently.



First thing in the morning

1)            Check all hand sinks on your floor to ensure they are stocked with hand soap and paper towels.

2)            Check and restock your cleaning supplies (e.g. Lysol wipes, spray bottle of bleach solution and paper towels, gloves, etc.)

3)            Ensure that someone is assigned to clean each of the following surfaces or objects.  Objects that are cleaned twice daily should be cleaned at approximately 12:00 pm and 5:00 pm.

Clean Twice Daily (Or as Often as Feasible)

1)            All internal door handles.

2)            Key pads for doors.

3)            Screen and buttons on printers.

4)            Faucet handles for all sinks.

5)            Lights switches.

6)            Kitchen countertops.

7)            Refrigerator handles.

8)            Bannisters in stairwell.

9)            Other frequently touched surfaces

Employee Self-Care Resources- Self-care ideas

Disclaimer: Teton Youth and Family Services is working hard to contribute to the health and welfare of our community during the COVID-19 pandemic. As such TYFS reserves the right to change or amend this Response Plan without notice.