The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued new guidance for older adults and people who have chronic medical conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes and lung disease. This population is at increased risk for serious illness from COVID-19, the disease caused by the new Coronavirus. Here’s what the agency recommends:
Avoid crowds, rethink daily activities
Many states, cities and communities have taken social distancing guidance from the CDC seriously and closed schools, set limits on the number of people who may gather in one place and asked businesses to send employees home to telework.
Churches, restaurants, bars, gyms, movie theaters and more also have made decisions to close to keep crowds from spreading COVID-19.
The CDC also has advised that nursing homes and long-term care facilities ban outside visitors, guidance that comes as a long-term care facility in Washington battles a COVID-19 outbreak that has resulted in multiple deaths.
Starting at age 60, there’s an increased risk of death from the coronavirus, “and the risk increases with age,” Nancy Messonnier, an internist and director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said in AARP’s recent Coronavirus Information Tele-Town Hall.
The highest risk of severe illness from the coronavirus is in people 80 and older, “and especially in people who are older and have serious chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes and lung disease,” Messonnier added.
Avoiding sick people and washing your hands often are two preventive strategies public health experts have been pushing to help slow the spread of COVID-19.