June 25, 2020
Syracuse University Study on COVID-19 Impact Data Released
Syracuse University and SUNY Upstate Medical University released a preliminary
based on the COVID-19 Impact Survey data collected by New York Disability Advocates (NYDA). The collaborative project includes the data collected weekly by The Arc New York.
The study commends service providers supporting New Yorkers with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) for their response to COVID-19, and calls for public data sharing by state health authorities and appropriate resources to support this high-risk population.
NYDA will leverage this study to forward the essential advocacy message that New Yorkers with I/DD are at higher risk of contracting and dying from COVID-19, and it is the state's responsibility to respond to that risk with appropriate resources to protect its vulnerable citizens.
Some key points from the study are included below:
- The study found individuals with I/DD supported in residential settings were four times as likely to contract COVID-19, and two times as likely to die from the infection than the general population of New York.
- The higher number of cases did not result in similarly disproportional case-fatality because of the efforts of multiple stakeholders - people with I/DD, their families, advocacy groups, residential providers, their staff, and healthcare providers - to ensure the best care possible for these individuals.
- The study links the higher infection rate to limited resources, and calls for appropriate preventative measures and resources to ensure the health and safety of people with I/DD and those who provide for their care - including adequate funding for staff and access to personal protective equipment.
- The study commends NYDA for its data collection and calls for OPWDD and other public health agencies to be transparent in sharing data on state-operated agencies: "It is imperative that the entities that provide services for or monitor any segment of this population begin to openly share all relevant data they have on COVID-19 outcomes among people with I/DD."
More information is included in NYDA's press release on the study and the full paper is available here. This release is included for your reference, however we are working to secure coverage and request that you not disseminate the release at this time.
Thank you to all Chapters for your consistent responses to the impact surveys. This data will support our ongoing advocacy efforts as we work to support people with I/DD and the dedicated staff who care for them through this crisis and beyond.