If You Are High Risk

Who is at higher risk? 

  • Older adults (60 years and older)
  • People people of all ages with underlying medical conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, lung disease, and weakened immune system
  • Pregnant women have had a higher risk of severe illness when infected with viruses similar to COVID-19 and may be more vulnerable.  

If you are at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19, it is extra important for you to take actions to reduce your risk of getting sick with the disease.

Take everyday precautions to keep yourself healthy.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.  
  • Practice social distancing – avoid get togethers with friends and family, and unnecessary trips to public places washing hands
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands.
  • Disinfect high-touch surfaces and objects in the household common areas (i.e. tables, doorknobs, light switches, remotes).  

Watch for symptoms and emergency warning signs

  • Pay attention for potential COVID-19 symptoms including, fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Click here for CDC’s list of Covid-19 symptoms. If you feel like you are developing symptoms, call your doctor. 
  • If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately. In adults, emergency warning signs*:  
    • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath 
    • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest 
    • New confusion or inability to rouse 
    • Bluish lips or face Practice social distancing and stay away from anyone who is sick

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

What to do if you get sick

  • Call your primary healthcare provider. If you do not have a primary healthcare provider, call the Upstate Triage Line: 315-464-3979.
  • Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care.
  • Use a separate room and bathroom for sick household members (if possible).
  • Wash hands regularly (see above directions) and disinfect high-touch surfaces.
  • Avoid sharing personal items like utensils, TV remotes, food and drinks.

What Families and Caregivers Can Do to Support Older Adults

  • Know what medications your loved one is taking and see if you can help them have extra on hand.
  • Monitor food and other medical supplies (oxygen, incontinence, dialysis, wound care) needed and create a back-up plan.
  • Stock up on non-perishable food to have on hand in your home to minimize trips to stores.
  • If you care for a loved one living in a care facility, monitor the situation, ask about the health of the other residents frequently and know the protocol if there is an outbreak.

For more information, please visit the CDC’s page:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/high-risk-complications.html