Minnesota Disability Service Providers on the Brink of Collapse from COVID-19

Via the Minneapolis Star-Tribune:

The coronavirus is inflicting a heavy toll on Minnesota’s sprawling network of government-supported centers that provide job training, mental health therapy and other services for more than 30,000 adults with disabilities. Dozens of centers have been forced to close temporarily since March because of severe restrictions meant to slow the spread of the virus. Now, after months of layoffs and furloughs, there are growing fears that this often-overlooked piece of the social safety net may collapse, leaving thousands in the lurch. Advocates fear that the vulnerable populations that the centers serve — with disabilities as varied as autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy and Down syndrome — have become increasingly isolated and are not getting adequate therapy and daily stimulation. Many have been confined to four-bedroom group homes where the coronavirus has already struck. Statewide, more than 300 residents of group homes have contracted the virus and at least 19 have died, state health officials said.

Source/more: Minneapolis Star-Tribune