Alpha Supported Living Services, along with many other agencies, has been hit particularly hard during this pandemic. At our peak, we had 8 homes in isolation and over the course of April and May, we had 22 Alpha clients and 42 staff members test positive for COVID-19. Unfortunately, one of the clients we serve, Sharon Gowdey, passed away after battling COVID-19 in the hospital for over a week. Sharon consistently lit up the room no matter where she was. She loved different types of music, dancing, and sports, as well as spending time with family and friends. Sharon had been a part of the Alpha community for over six years and will be missed dearly.
Both Sharon and her sister are highlighted in the article below from Austin Jenkins, which also addresses how individuals with developmental disabilities have a significantly higher mortality rate from COVID-19 than others who test positive. It is crucial to understand why this affects those with developmental disabilities more so than other individuals and our CEO Scott Livengood sheds light on the situation, the efforts our agency took to bring us to no active client and staff cases for the last three weeks, and the continued challenges for this vulnerable population going forward. As things are shifting during this pandemic, it is essential to work together as a community to keep everyone safe.