Disability alone might not be linked to a higher risk of getting COVID-19 or having a severe illness. Several people with disabilities are not essentially at higher risk of having COVID-19. However, some people with disabilities might be at a higher risk because of their underlying condition. All people seem to be at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 if they have serious chronic medical conditions. Adults with disabilities are three times more likely than adults without disabilities to have a stroke, heart disease, or diabetes.
You might be at increased risk of becoming infected if you have one of the disability types listed;
- People who have trouble understanding information or practicing preventive measures.
- People who have limited agility or who cannot avoid coming into close contact with others who may be infected.
- People who may not be able to communicate symptoms of illness.
There are some additional things people with disabilities can do to prepare during the COVID-19 outbreak;
- Make a plan on what you will do if you get sick. Make a contact list of family, friends, neighbors, or local service agencies that can provide support in case you get sick.
- Plan as well at least two ways of communicating from work or home that can be used quickly in an emergency.
- Have enough household items and groceries. Have as well at least a 30-day supply of over the counter and prescription medicines and any medical equipment or supplies that you might need.
If you or someone you care for at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19, take steps to prevent from being infected;
- Wash your hands often
- Avoid close contact especially in people that shows symptoms
- Cover your mouth and nose with a mask around others
- Cover coughs and sneezes
- Clean and disinfect
- Monitor your health daily
- Know how the disease spreads
People at higher risk to-do list:
- Limit your interactions with other people
- If you decide to engage in public activities, continue to protect yourself
- Keep hand sanitizer with 60% alcohol, masks, and tissues on hand
- If possible, avoid others who are not wearing masks or ask others around you to wear masks
- Anyone who has had close contact with a person with COVID-19 should stay home and monitor for symptoms
- Cancel or delay a visit if you or your visitors have symptoms of COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days
If you are a person at high risk or have a disability and you have your pets or animals with you;
When possible, have another member in your household to care for your pets/animals. If you are sick with COVID-19, avoid contact with your pet including:
- Sharing food and bedding
- Being kissed or licked
There is still no certain evidence that animal plays a significant role in spreading the virus that causes COVID-19. A small number of pets have been reported to be infected. Those are mostly after contact with people with the disease. Pets have other types of coronaviruses that can make them sick. These other coronaviruses cannot infect people and are not related to the current COVID-19 outbreak.