Masks, RATs and clean air: how people with disability can protect themselves from COVID

People with disability bear a disproportionate burden of COVID infections, serious disease and death. Every time a support worker enters their home, people with disability risk COVID exposure.

But while Australian states have evidence-based measures to reduce the spread of COVID in schools and hospitals – such as improving ventilation, mandating masks, and using rapid antigen tests to detect cases – few strategies exist to reduce transmission to people with disability in their homes.

Last Thursday, Australia’s disability royal commission released a “statement of ongoing concern” about how Omicron is impacting the health, safety and well-being of people with disability.

So what do governments need to do to protect people with disability from COVID? And what can people with disability do to mitigate their risk in the meantime?

Anne Kavanagh and Helen Dickinson
University New South Wales
Wednesday 2nd March, 2022

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