Los Angeles, CA – Today the LA County Board of Supervisors passed a motion by Supervisor Janice Hahn to ensure the County’s pandemic response and recovery strategy prioritizes the needs of its immunocompromised and disabled residents, including through expanding access to PCR testing, in-home vaccinations, PPE, and more.
“This virus doesn’t affect all people equally, which means the way we handle our response to and recovery from it shouldn’t be a one-size-fits-all approach,” said Supervisor Hahn. “From providing vaccinations and rapid tests at home for residents with disabilities to making sure the PPE we’re giving out is appropriate for those with visual impairments, when it comes to ensuring all our residents have what they need to feel protected as we recover from this pandemic, LA County should lead the way and set the bar high.”
Hahn’s motion instructs the County Departments of Public Health and Health Services to expand access to a variety of services needed by immunocompromised and disabled residents, including in-home vaccinations, at-home rapid and PCR tests, appropriate personal protective equipment (such as face coverings with clear see-through windows), and COVID-19 educational materials that accommodate people who are hard of hearing or visually impaired.
It also directs the County’s Commission on Disabilities to work with the Executive Director of Aging and Community Services on exploring the feasibility of creating a task force to review the County’s COVID response and recovery plans and provide recommendations on how the County can better meet the needs of immunocompromised residents and residents with disabilities.
“As we move forward towards a diverse and inclusive environment, the disability community will have a voice,” said Carlos Benavides, President of the Los Angeles County Commission on Disabilities and one of the Commission’s Representatives from the Fourth District. “This noble gesture elevates the concept and idea of total inclusivity regardless of one’s functional capabilities and limitations. Thank you, Supervisor Hahn, for this motion.”
People with disabilities and chronic illnesses have disproportionately higher rates of hospitalizations and death due to COVID-19, with the CDC reporting that 90% percent of COVID-19 hospitalizations are people with underlying conditions.