COVID-19 Safety for Seniors

Staying Safe if High Risk for COVID-19 
Are you at higher risk for severe illness?

Based on what we know now, people who are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 include:

  • Older adults

People of any age with the following:

  • Cancer
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Chronic liver disease
  • Chronic lung diseases
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Dementia or other neurological conditions
  • Diabetes (type 1 or type 2)
  • Disabilities
  • Heart conditions
  • HIV infection
  • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system)
  • Mental health conditions
  • Overweight and obesity
  • Physical inactivity
  • Pregnancy
  • Sickle cell disease or thalassemia
  • Smoking, current or former
  • Solid organ or blood stem cell transplant
  • Stroke or cerebrovascular disease
  • Substance use disorders
  • Tuberculosis

If you are at high risk of getting very sick from COVID-19, and test positive, treatment may be available. Get tested as soon as possible after your symptoms start.

Contact your healthcare provider right away if your test result is positive. Don’t delay, treatment must be started early to be fully effective.


COVID-19 Recommendations for Older Adults

The risk of severe illness from COVID-19 increases with age. CDC recommends that adults 65 years and older receive COVID-19 vaccines. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine is an important step to help prevent getting sick from COVID-19.

Older adults who are not fully vaccinated should practice consistent and correct mask use indoors and in crowded settings, when physical distancing cannot be maintained. People who have a condition or are taking medications that weaken their immune system may not be fully protected, even if they are up to date on their COVID-19 vaccines. They should talk to their healthcare providers about what additional precautions may be necessary.






  • Plan what you will do if you or your direct support provider gets sick. Create a contact list of family, friends, neighbors and local service agencies that can provide support in case you or your direct support provider tests positive.
  • Have enough household items and groceries so that you will be comfortable staying home for a few weeks, at least a 30-day supply of over the counter and prescription medicines and any medical equipment or supplies that you might need. Some health plans allow for a 90-day refill on prescription medications. Consider discussing this option with your healthcare provider. Make a photocopy of prescriptions, as this may help in obtaining medications in an emergency.



  • Avoid crowds and poorly ventilated spaces.
  • Wear a well fitted mask
  • Wash your hands often