COVID-19 infection and the neurodevelopmental population

Wendy Chung, M.D., Ph.D. Principal Investigator of Simons Searchlight

Date published: November 25, 2020

In recent weeks, you may have seen news articles discussing the increased severity of SARS-CoV-2, or COVID-19, infection in those who have developmental disabilities. Simons Searchlight has been surveying our community since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. To date, we have received very few reports of hospitalization of Simons Searchlight participants. Only 2 percent of our caregivers reported that someone in their household had a COVID-19 positive test since March 2020. In our most recent survey of over 325 families, 10 people who had a genetic condition were reported to have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection, and none of these 10 reported needing hospitalizations.

Information from other research suggests that people at highest risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection are those living in a group home, nursing home, or other facility. This may be due to the older average age of people in facilities, their challenges with communication, or other health factors. If you have adults in your family that are being cared for in facilities outside of your home, it may be a good time to be in contact with them more often.

We are going to continue to send surveys over time to make sure that we are able to monitor changes within our community. We invite you to contact us if you have any questions or concerns.

Emergency Information

For Mental Health Emergencies

If you have concerns that someone at home is depressed or thinking about hurting themselves, help them call the Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or use the Lifeline Chat.

If you have concerns that someone is at immediate risk of harming themselves or others, call 911 or take them to the nearest emergency room.

For Medical Emergencies

If you are experiencing a COVID-19 or other medical emergency, visit the CDC’s What to Do if You are Sick guidelines.