According to the CDC, early information shows that some people are at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19. This includes adults who are 65 and older, and people of any age who:
Have serious underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, such as heart, lung or liver disease; diabetes; moderate to severe asthma; severe obesity; and chronic kidney disease requiring dialysis.
Have a weakened immune system, including those undergoing cancer treatment, smoking or having other immunocompromised conditions.
If you are at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19, it is extra important for you to take actions to avoid getting sick.
Stay home if possible.
Wash your hands often.
Take everyday precautions to keep space between yourself and others (stay 6 feet away, which is about two arm lengths).
Keep away from people who are sick.
Stock up on supplies.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched services.
Avoid all cruise travel and non-essential air travel.
Call your health care professional if you have concerns about COVID-19 and your underlying condition or if you are sick.
In addition to following the steps above, we recommend that you take these sensible precautions.
Create a personal support network of trusted individuals who can help set up your phone, computer or tablet and check in with you by phone or video calls, text or email to ensure your wellness. They can also help you with errands, groceries, online shopping and setting up telemedicine (i.e., medical appointments over the phone or by video). Share your important health and medical information with them and be sure they know how they can help you.
Limit visits with family members, especially young children. While you may need family members to help run errands, keep about 6 feet away from them. Have visitors leave food or grocery items at the door rather than entering the home. Avoid inviting young children into your home.
Have a 1-month supply of medications and a 2-week supply of food on hand.
Along with prescription medications, have a 1-month supply of over-the-counter medications like cough suppressants and fever reducing drugs. Ask your physician or local pharmacy if prescriptions can be delivered. Be sure to have a thermometer on hand in case you need to check for a fever.
A 2-week supply of food also includes water, household cleaning supplies, personal hygiene items, and medical supplies or equipment. Contact your local grocery stores to see if they offer online ordering and home delivery. Find out if there are local nonprofit services to assist with food or meal delivery.
Have a plan for if you get sick. Make a list of medications and medical contacts, and know where to find health care documents like advance directives (a living will). Determine who will care for you at home should you become ill, and tell them what sort of care you would want if you became too ill and unable to speak for yourself.
Cancel all non-essential, in-person doctor’s appointments. Use telemedicine services, which enables you to communicate with your doctor over video, phone or email, rather than face-to-face.
Beware of scams. Unfortunately, scammers are taking advantage of people’s fears and the Federal Trade Commission has tips to help protect you and others. There currently are no vaccines, pills, lotions or other prescription or over-the-counter products available to treat or cure COVID-19 online or in stores. Beware of “viral videos” suggesting potentially dangerous or toxic home preventatives, such as drinking excessive amounts of water or mouthwash