Who is at High Risk for COVID-19?

by | Apr 16, 2020 | cloth face masks, face shields

If you own a nursing home or any facility in which these groups of people amass, please read this carefully.

 

While the CDC recommends that everyone protect themselves with cloth masks or face shields when leaving the house now, there are certain groups of people who are at high risk.

People with underlying illnesses

Immunocompromised people, or people with underlying illnesses may have a harder time fighting off COVID-19 than others. According to statistics, those suffering from the following diseases are at a higher risk than the rest of the population:

Asthma

The CDC states that people who suffer from moderate to severe asthma might have an increased risk of becoming very ill from the coronavirus, which can result in the need for a ventilator and potentially lead to death.

COVID-19 affects your respiratory tract (lungs, throat, and nose), and can trigger an asthma attack that may result in an acute respiratory distress or severe pneumonia.

HIV

Because HIV is an autoimmune disorder, people with this disease may have a harder time fighting off the illness than the rest of the population. While the CDC has not released much information on the dangers of contracting COVID-19 for those with HIV, they intend to update their site as new information surfaces.

Obesity and diabetes

The CDC has officially listed obesity as a high risk category for COVID-19. A recent study in New York noted that COVID-19 patients under 60 years old who were obese were twice as likely to to be admitted to acute and critical care than COVID-19 patients who were not obese.

This is likely due to the underlying conditions caused by obesity, such as heart disease and diabetes–all of which may put you at an increased risk for coronavirus-related complications.

Immunocompromising illnesses

There are several medical conditions that can cause a person’s immune system to function at a decreased capacity. This includes anyone who has undergone cancer treatment or had an organ or bone marrow transplant, as well as people who smoke or take immune-suppressing medications like corticosteroids.

The elderly

Anyone above the age of 65 is at an increased risk for becoming hospitalized due to COVID-19. Sadly, 80% of COVID-19-related deaths in the U.S. have occurred in adults 65 years and older.

Many nursing homes all over the world have seen mass deaths due to spreading of the virus in their facilities. To combat this, we recommend supplying all nursing home residents and employees with multiple masks. This would allow individuals to wear one mask while others are being washed and avoid having to wash the same mask every day.

Disabled people

Having a disability alone is not enough to put you into the COVID-19 high risk category. However, the CDC states that adults with disabilities are three times more likely than non-disabled adults to have unrecognized underlying health conditions like heart disease, cancer, or diabetes, and this is what puts them in the high risk category.

Homeless people

Similar to disabled people, the CDC states that homeless people may be at a higher risk of COVID-19-related complications due to unrecognized underlying health conditions. Because services for the homeless are typically provided in group settings, this also increases the risk homeless people face of becoming infected with the virus.

Check on your loved ones that are in the high risk categories. Chances are that at least one of your employees falls into a high risk category, and because of that, everyone in your workplace should be wearing personal protective equipment like a cloth mask or face shield.