People at High Risk


Higher-risk Groups


Steps everyone can take

If you are at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19 because of your age or because you have a serious long-term health problem, it is extra important for you to take actions to reduce your risk of getting sick with the disease.
  • Stay home if possible.
  • Wear a mask when in public.
  • Wash your hands often.
  • Take everyday precautions to maintain social distancing (stay 6 feet away - about two arm lengths.)
  • Keep away from people who are sick.
  • Stock up on supplies.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently-touched surfaces.
  • Call your healthcare professional if you have concerns about COVID-19 and your underlying condition or if you are sick.
CDC: How to Protect Yourself

Coping with stress

Many people who have serious underlying health conditions face a higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. People who may have a harder time getting assistance if they become ill, like those experiencing homelessness or people with disabilities, are also at increased risk from COVID-19. These conditions and situations may result in increased stress during this pandemic. Fear and anxiety can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions.

Things you can do to support yourself:

  • Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories and social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
  • Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate. Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and avoid alcohol and drugs.
  • Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
  • Connect virtually with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.
  • Call your healthcare provider if stress gets in the way of your daily activities for several days in a row.
  • If you, or someone you care about, are feeling overwhelmed with emotions like sadness, depression, or anxiety, or feel like you want to harm yourself or others call 911.
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746. (TTY 1-800-846-8517)
CDC: Stress and Coping

Have a plan for if you get sick

  • Know how to stay in touch with others by phone, email, or video. You may need to ask for help from friends, family, neighbors, and community health workers if you become sick.
  • Determine who can care for you if your caregiver gets sick.
  • Contact your healthcare provider to ask about obtaining extra necessary medications to have on hand in case there is an outbreak of COVID-19 in your community and you need to stay home for a prolonged period of time.
  • If you cannot get extra medications, consider using mail-order for medications.
  • Be sure you have over-the-counter medicines and medical supplies (tissues, etc.) to treat fever and other symptoms. Most people will be able to recover from COVID-19 at home.
  • Have enough household items and groceries on hand so that you will be prepared to stay at home.
  • Consider ways of getting medications and food brought to your house without coming in contact with others through family, social, or commercial networks.
  • Have a plan for someone to care for your pets during your illness.
Related: Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Home

Watch for symptoms and emergency warning signs.

  • Pay attention for potential COVID-19 symptoms including, fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
  • If you feel like you are developing symptoms, stay home and call your doctor. Tell them that you have or may have COVID-19. This will help them take care of you and keep other people from getting infected or exposed.
  • If you are not sick enough to be hospitalized, you can recover at home.
  • If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately.
  • In adults, emergency warning signs* are:
    • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
    • Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
    • New confusion or inability to arouse
    • Bluish lips or face
CDC: Symptoms and Testing | What to do if You Are Sick

Community Support

Community preparedness planning for COVID-19 should include older adults and people with disabilities, and the organizations that support them in their communities, to ensure their needs are taken into consideration. Many of these individuals live in the community, and many depend on services and supports provided in their homes or in the community to maintain their health and independence.

Long-term care facilities should be vigilant to prevent the introduction and spread of COVID-19. 

CDC: Schools, Workplaces, and Community Locations

Family and caregiver support

  • Know what medications your loved ones are 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.
CDC: If you are Sick or Caring for Someone


*List not all-inclusive - consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.
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3950 S. Country Club Road
Ste. 100
Tucson, AZ 85714

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