Challenges posed by COVID-19 to the health of people with disabilities living in residential care facilities in Romania

Leyla Safta-Zecheria
2020 Disability & Society  
In this contribution, I discuss potential risk to the health of people with disabilities in residential care institutions during the COVID-19 outbreak by looking at evidence from Romania. As an academic who has studied deinstitutionalization of services for people with disabilities in Romania, I argue that residential care institutions for people with disabilities are at risk of becoming sites for community contagion with COVID-19. These institutions are often located in remote and economically
more » ... te and economically peripheral areas of the country that have been characterized by high rates of outmigration. Now, these are becoming areas of intense return migration. Community contagion in adjacent locations can easily spill over to residential institutions through care and health workers' trajectories. Once spread to residential institutions, COVID-19 has a high chance of adversely affecting the health of residents with disabilities. It is vital to ensure disabled people's health and wellbeing through adequate contagion prevention measures. ARTICLE HISTORY
doi:10.1080/09687599.2020.1754766 fatcat:sksrs7ons5aadhxgauw3cewvbe