May 27, 2020 2:55:00 PM
By Walter Arnold, COO
All 50 states are doing some form of reopening. They are easing restrictions so businesses can reopen safely, customers have confidence to shop, but all will still need to adhere to strict healthcare guidelines of social distancing, practicing good hygiene with frequent hand sanitation, and wearing masks. As reopening begins, government resources must make greater accommodations for people with disabilities.
Many strict healthcare guidelines are difficult to adhere to for the disabled community. According to Bonnielin Swenor, an associate professor of epidemiology and ophthalmology at the Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute and the Bloomberg School of Public Health, frequent hand-washing may not be achievable for people with certain types of physical disabilities and those who need personal aides and caregivers cannot participate in social distancing in the same way as others. For example, people who use in-home care need a contingency plan in case a caregiver becomes ill.
Nearly all the guidelines also call for those who fall within a vulnerable population to continue to shelter in place, even extending the warning to household member cautioning that by returning to work or reengaging with society they carry the potential of bringing the virus into their home. Some government officials are even suggesting that precautions should be taken to isolate from vulnerable residents inside the home, but with the disabled community this may not be possible.
Written by Raegan Bartlo