Older Adult Preparedness

Are You at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19?

Some people are at higher risk of getting very sick from this illness. This includes:

  • Older adults
  • People who have serious chronic medical conditions like:
    • Heart disease
    • Diabetes
    • Lung disease

The COVID-19 outbreak could last for a long time. Depending on how severe the outbreak is, the goals are to reduce people’s risk of being exposed, slow the spread and reduce the impact of disease.

If you are at higher risk because of your age or because you have a long-term health problem, it is especially important for you to take actions to reduce your risk of getting sick with the disease.

What should you do?

If you are at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19, you should:

  • Stock up on supplies
    • Contact your healthcare provider to ask about obtaining extra necessary medications to have on hand.
    • Have enough household items and groceries on hand in case you need to stay at home for a period of time.
  • Take everyday precautions to keep space between yourself and others
    • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
    • To the extent possible, avoid touching high-touch surfaces in public places
    • Avoid touching your face, nose, eyes, etc. with unwashed hands.
    • Clean and disinfect your home to remove germs.
  • When you go out in public, keep away from others who are sick, limit close contact with others, and wash your hands often.
  • Avoid crowds as much as possible.
  • Avoid cruise travel and non-essential air travel.
  • Stay home as much as possible.
  • Have a plan for if you or your caregiver get sick.
  • Stay connected to others by phone or email.

Watch for symptoms and emergency warning signs

Pay attention for potential COVID-19 symptoms including fever, cough, and shortness of breath. If you feel like you are developing symptoms, call your doctor.

If you develop any of the following emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
  • New confusion or inability to arouse
  • Bluish lips or face

Note: This list is not all-inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.