Update on Safer at Home and Action Steps

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has overturned the extension of Wisconsinís Safer at Home Order. As communities re-open it will be very important for local planning to consider the needs of vulnerable people with disabilities and older adults.

Here are some action that you can take to elevate concerns about people with disabilities and older adults. Please share this with your network:

What you can do to help ensure Re-Opening Wisconsin is Safe for People with Disabilities and Older Adults.

As Wisconsin begins to reopen, it must be done in a way that continues to protect people who are at high risk of serious complications or death from COVID-19. COVID-19 is particularly dangerous to people with disabilities, older adults, and people with certain underlying conditions. People who live or receive services in group homes, nursing homes and other congregate settings are at extreme risk.

 Direct care staff and family caregivers who are supporting high risk populations are at greater risk of contracting the disease or spreading it to the most vulnerable. Many families caring for children with disabilities or high-risk individuals of any age will need to return to work which may increase their risk of carrying the virus into their own homes.

Many questions remain about the virus, the ongoing pandemic, and what specific steps are needed to protect people with disabilities and older adults in Wisconsin.

YOU can take action to help ensure that the state is safer for people with disabilities and older adults.

Action Steps

1. Contact your state Representative and state Senator. Ask them your questions about how your community and the state will ensure that vulnerable people are protected from COVID-19. See list of suggested questions below. Find your representativeís contact information here: [[https://legis.wisconsin.gov/ | https://legis.wisconsin.gov/[[

2. Contact your County Health Department. Many local health departments are already planning for re-opening. Ask them about local places that may have an increased difficulty controlling the spread of COVID-19 and what steps local planners are taking to protect people from COVID-19. Make sure local planning teams have representation from the disability and older adult communities.

Questions for local communities and legislators

  • How many locations in the community are there where high-risk people will be gathering in close proximity (e.g. group homes and other residences, day service and prevocational facilities, programs that offer center-based services etc.)?

  • What requirements will be placed on congregate settings to reduce the risk of infection and transmission of COVID-19?

  • What happens to participants if workers or people who live or rely on congregate settings for services get sick?

  • What happens if there is an outbreak of COVID-19 in a congregate setting?

  • What happens if disability or aging service providers go out of business or must operate at limited capacity? How do I get the help I need?

  • If COVID-19 infections increase in the community, what will the community do to respond?

  • When additional PPE, COVID-19 testing and vaccinations become available, will Home and Community-Based workers who provide in-home health, personal care or long-term care services be prioritized to receive them?

  • In situations where there are at risk children or adults in a household, will family caregivers be prioritized for PPE, access to testing, and eventual vaccination?
Last edited by courtney.   Page last modified on May 17, 2020

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