Living with COVID-19 in the time of OMICRON: Escalating risks for people with disability in Australia
Two years into the COVID-19 pandemic we have reached the most dangerous time yet for people with disability. While Australia fared well for the first two years of the pandemic, we have reached a critical juncture. Without urgent action we will see major adverse impacts for people with disability and their families, including death.
There are now unprecedented levels of infection in Australia because of the high transmissibility of Omicron. This has resulted in major staff shortages in health and disability services.
Right now, people with disability are at high risk of not getting essential supports for ordinary daily activities from eating to assistance with personal hygiene. They are also at very high risk of being infected with COVID-19 from workers and their household members, especially if they and/or their workers and household members are not fully vaccinated or have not received booster doses.
In this position statement, the Centre of Research Excellence in Disability and Health makes urgent recommendations in relation to health care, disability supports, vaccination and monitoring to reduce the risk for people with disability in this current situation.