Consistent with the State's implementation of CDC guidance, use layered prevention strategies including staying up to date on vaccines and following the steps below to help prevent illness. Use the CDC’s COVID-19 hospital admission levels to determine what prevention steps to take based on the latest data for your county.
- Stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially before you eat.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Cover your cough and sneezes with a tissue and discard it in a closed container.
- Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects
For people who feel sick or have symptoms of COVID-19:
- Get tested for COVID-19
- Talk to a healthcare provider
- Stay home, away from others.
- Don’t go to work or school.
- Seek treatment if you are at high risk of getting very sick
Monitor Your Symptoms. *Common symptoms are:
- Fever or chills
- New loss of taste or smell
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
*Emergency Warning Signs Include:
- Trouble breathing
- Pain or pressure in the chest that doesn’t go away
- Confusion or trouble waking up
- Bluish lips or face
Call for medical attention immediately.
*This list is not a complete list. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.
People at High Risk of Severe Illness
Anyone can get COVID-19 and feel sick, but some people are at high risk for serious illness and even death.
These are some of the factors that could put you at high risk:
The risk of getting seriously sick from COVID-19 increases with age, especially starting at the age of 65. Most COVID-19 deaths occur in people older than 65. The risk of COVID-19 hospitalization or death is worse if you also have an underlying health condition.
Underlying Health Conditions
People with underlying or chronic health conditions (called "comorbidities") are especially vulnerable to serious illness, hospitalization, and death if they catch COVID-19. The disease can weaken their body or make their underlying health condition worse.
Below are the most common comorbidities that lead to serious COVID-19 complications:
- Heart disease (high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, coronary artery disease, atrial fibrillation, and more)
- Lung disease (asthma, COPD, and more)
- Obesity and overweight (any BMI greater than 25 kg/m2)
- Smoker (current or former)
- Liver disease (hepatitis, cirrhosis, alcohol-related illness, and more)
- Chronic kidney disease
- Dementia and Alzheimer's disease
- Cystic fibrosis
- Blood disorders (sickle cell anemia, thalassemia)
- Disability (cerebral palsy, birth defects, intellectual and developmental disability, Down syndrome, ADHD)
- History of stroke
- History of substance use
- Immunocompromised, or have a weakened immune system (including people who have received an organ or bone marrow).
If you have any of the conditions on this list, make sure you are up to date on your COVID-19 vaccinations, and continue to wear a mask, social distance, and wash your hands often to help prevent infection.
Due in part to a long-standing history and persistence of structural racism and inequities (known as the social determinants of health), many Black and Hispanic communities in the United States have experienced worse health outcomes from COVID-19 compared to other populations. This includes higher rates of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths for Black and Hispanic communities.
Anyone with one or more of the factors listed above who gets COVID-19 is more likely to:
- Be hospitalized
- Need intensive care
- Require a ventilator to help them breathe
If you have questions about a condition or factor not included on this list, talk to your health care provider about how best to manage your condition and protect yourself from COVID-19.
For more information from the CDC, visit:
Information breakdown about common respiratory illnesses.