Higher Risk Populations

COVID-19 is a new disease and there is limited information regarding risk factors for severe disease. Based on current information and clinical expertise, older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions might be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

Those at high-risk for severe illness from COVID-19 include:

  • People aged 65 years and older
  • People who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility
  • Other high-risk conditions could include:

    • People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
    • People who have serious heart conditions
    • People who are immune compromised including cancer treatment
    • People of any age with severe obesity (body mass index [BMI] >40) or certain underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, such as those with diabetes, renal failure, or liver disease might also be at risk
  • People who are pregnant should be monitored since they are known to be at risk with severe viral illness, however, to date data on COVID-19 has not shown increased risk

Many conditions can cause a person to be immune compromised, including cancer treatment, smoking, bone marrow or organ transplantation, immune deficiencies, poorly controlled HIV or AIDS, and prolonged use of corticosteroids and other immune weakening medications.

Precautions for Persons with Underlying Health Conditions

Anyone with a chronic medical condition or is immune compromised and is receiving home-health care should:

  • Avoid close contact to anyone that is sick and do not allow anyone to enter your home that is showing symptoms of respiratory infection such as cough, fever, shortness of breath and sore throat.
  • Do not allow persons who have traveled internationally in the past 14 days to enter your home.
  • Do not allow persons who have traveled on a cruise ship in the past 14 days to enter your home.

See more information about people at higher risk for more serious complications from COVID-19.