Statement from The Village Family Service Center regarding COVID-19 | The Village Family Service Center

The Village Family Service Center

Statement from The Village Family Service Center regarding COVID-19

Friday, March 13, 2020

We recognize it takes a Village to stay healthy! The well-being of our employees and clients is of highest importance to us. As such, here are the steps we are taking in light of the spread of the coronavirus.

MARCH 25, 2020, UPDATE:

Today, Gov. Tim Walz issued a "stay at home" order for all Minnesota residents from midnight March 27 through 5 pm April 10. Exemptions to this order include providers of mental health services, such as The Village Family Service Center. As not all Village employees are authorized to provide counseling services from their home, our Minnesota offices will remain open so staff can provide these essential services to clients either online or by phone. All offices are still closed to the general public, and employees are encouraged to practice social distancing, regularly disinfect their workspaces, and follow other guidance from the CDC and state health agencies to protect themselves. We will continue to monitor and follow developments organizationally as well.

MARCH 23, 2020, UPDATE:

Taking into consideration the best interest of The Village Family Service Center’s staff and clients and the safety of our community, Senior Leadership has decided to close all Village offices to the general public and cancel all in-person group therapy sessions beginning at 8 am Wednesday, March 25. We will continue to provide behavioral health services via telehealth (web-based appointments) and, in some circumstances, telephonically. Employees who are able to work from home may request permission to do so. Business hours will remain the same for each office.

This arrangement will be in effect until further notice, and we will continue to follow guidance from the CDC, state and local government, and local health departments. For more information, please contact your local Village office.

MARCH 20, 2020, UPDATE:

If you are a Village EAP client company seeking resources regarding COVID-19, please click here.

We are continuing to expand our ability to provide telehealth appointments to clients and are monitoring announcements made by the governors of North Dakota and Minnesota. Executive orders by both Gov. Doug Burgum and Gov. Tim Walz have expanded the ability for behavioral health professionals to provide mental health services.

MARCH 19, 2020, UPDATE:

The Village's response to COVID-19 continues to evolve with the changing situation. Due to community spread of the coronavirus in that area, The Village’s Bismarck office will close its doors to the public as of noon Thursday, March 19. Staff will continue to provide services from the office, but via telehealth instead of in person, as they are able. 

MARCH 18, 2020, UPDATE:

The Village Family Service Center's CEO and President Jeff Pederson, in conjunction with his leadership team, announced the following decisions today regarding Village operations:

  • As of noon March 18, in-home services are not being provided in person until further notice. In-home providers are communicating this change to their clients and offering to provide telehealth (i.e., web-based) services. Clients who do not have access to the technology necessary for telehealth and who are in need of services may receive telephonic services.
  • Also as of noon, The Village's St. Cloud office is closing its physical doors to the public. Therapists will continue to provide services to clients, but via telehealth from the office instead of in person. The decision is specific to St. Cloud due to the community spread of the virus in that area.
  • Clients who exhibit signs of the illness – coughing, shortness of breath or who have self-identified as having a fever – are being asked to reschedule their appointment and/or meet via telehealth.
  • All therapy groups will be kept to 10 people or fewer, with larger groups being split to adhere to these guidelines. Social distancing (maintaining 6 feet between individuals) is encouraged.

MARCH 16, 2020, UPDATE:

The following announcements were made today by The Village Family Service Center:

  • Lunch and Learn: Authentic Communication, planned for Wednesday, March 18, at The Village's Fargo office, has been canceled. Full refunds have been issued to ticket purchasers.
  • The Adoption Information Meeting that was scheduled for March 23 in Grand Forks has been canceled. Anyone seeking information about adoption can contact Sue Grundysen at 701-451-4940 or by email.
  • The Bowl for Kids' Sake events, scheduled for March 26 and 27 at West Acres Bowl, have been put on hold. We will communicate any updates to our sponsors and participants as decisions are made. Paper bowling pins are still being sold at Fargo-Moorhead area Hornbacher's stores. Any questions can be directed to Brittney Hogan at 701-451-5033.
  • The April 15 Lunch and Learn: Generation Z Is Here has been canceled. Full refunds have been issues to ticket holders.


Our staff are trained annually on best practices to limit the transmission of infectious diseases, and have been reminded to follow best practices as outlined by the CDC. These include:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or cover with a tissue
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Disinfect surfaces like doorknobs, tables, desks and handrails regularly
  • Stop handshaking
  • Increase ventilation by opening windows
  • Meet virtually when possible
  • Consider adjusting travel plans
  • Stay home and consult your physician if you are feeling sick or if you have a sick family member in your home

Hand-sanitizer is available in the common areas of our offices, including lobbies and group rooms. Clients are being encouraged to reschedule their appointment if they do not feel well.

Many insurance providers are relaxing their policies in terms of coverage for telehealth and telephonic services. Clients are encouraged to call their local office to see if web-based or phone sessions are available to them.

At this point, we are not cancelling any Village therapy groups. We will continue to monitor the local environment day-by-day and follow the advice of public health agencies. Our President and CEO will decide if and when any of our offices suspend operations.

We encourage you to be mindful of the symptoms of COVID-19, which include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Visit for more information about the virus. Be mindful of your mental health during the pandemic and practice self-care.

The main thing to remember: Don’t panic. We will continue to follow the guidance of the CDC and will provide updates as things change.