COVID-19: Leo’s Letter: The Arc Releases New COVID Position Statement

Eighteen months have passed since Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker issued a state of emergency on March 10, 2020 due to the COVID pandemic.

We saw positive new cases total in the thousands daily in the late fall and winter. New case numbers began to decline in March 2021, and, between June 7 and July 8 of this year, positive daily reports totaled less than 100 new cases.

In July, we witnessed occasional daily spikes above 1,000 new cases. In August, such daily reports were the norm and four days had reports above 2,000 cases.

Given the variants’ impact and the FDA full approval of the Pfizer vaccine, The Arc has released a new COVID position. It focuses on infection control, mandated vaccinations, the workforce, and funding all the costs of the new procedures. Those not vaccinated tend to become more ill.

You can read the statement here. We appreciate the efforts of the Commonwealth and providers in combatting this virus. But additional funding directed at the crisis is needed.

The Arc will release a more specific short-term request on funding to address the crisis in the next several days. Our team also is developing a future-oriented plan for our constituents that addresses the workforce and advocates for more flexible supports for individuals and families.

The new normal continues and we all need to work together to respond.

Download the PDF file .

7 Comments:

  1. Hello Arc,

    I support your efforts on COVID-19. Your team provides a valuable service to persons with disabilities. They are vulnerable by nature. Thank you — each and everyone of you — for your passion, professionalism, and commitment to persons with disabilities. You deserve appropriate funding to serve the underserved.

    Thank you. A friend of the Arc.

  2. thank you

  3. I, too, support your efforts and echo the sentiments expressed so eloquently above. The Arc, along with the individuals they serve, deserve to have a manageable, funded program. In addition, I fully support a mandatory vaccine requirement.

  4. I am in agreement with the statement put forth by the ARC of Massachusetts. I appreciate the inclusion of Day Programs in their statement, for some reason we have seen mandates for testing and surveillance pass over the day program staff. We must have total inclusion of all programs serving the disabled population in MA. We also need funding support for these testing and monitoring options. Day Habilitation programs in MA have never been break even in terms of financing, the true cost of services needs to be supported or like the eight or nine programs that were forced to close during the pandemic, more will follow. Companies can no longer afford to support day programs that are underfunded, and as programs close, it will be the disabled individuals whom we serve that will pay the price.

    • Dennis & Anne Shea

      Hello;
      We thank you so much for continuing to fight for more funds to keep our loved ones healthy – it is not easy to keep them up to date with Covid-19 plus all other heath issues they may have. With all of this; funding is so much more needed to keep both Staff & Clients healthy.
      Breaking even has never been an option & now less funding makes it impossible.
      Please keep trying.

  5. Thank you for addressing this workforce crisis and the pandemic. I am a direct care worker and I am speaking for the staff who work her and we feel that we have been overlooked during this cirsis! This makes everyone whom has worked so hard and who are dedicated to this population sad. WE STAFF… play a vital role among people with disabilities, along with the day programs and the residential sector. We need help and it’s time to focus on bettering the lives of the individuals that WE SERVE.

  6. Workforce shortage had left my daughter’s program very shorthanded. She has been home since March, vaccinated since May. No idea when she will be back with her friends. Her program offers 3 days a week, 4 sessions of 30 min on zoom. She enjoys it, but wants to be back with her friends. Better pay, testing, vaccination clinics whatever it takes, we need day staff!

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