Late one June night, after taking the garbage to the trash bin, as he often liked to do, a young man living at a home for people with disabilities in Clinton missed his family and decided to start walking home.
The 22-year-old, who lives with autism among other disabilities, had wandered away at least six other times in the past two weeks. But with the facility engulfed in a rash of COVID-19 cases, the two staff members at the Whitten Center assigned to his unit didn’t know that. They were looking after 14 people, far more than they should have been.
In fact, they didn’t notice his absence at all until 45 minutes later, when police called to inform them the young man had been hit by a car and was recovering at the local hospital.