Who is Most at Risk of Illness

Certain individuals are at higher risk for adverse health complications if they contract this virus. This includes:

  • Those who are over age 65
  • Those who have chronic kidney disease
  • Those who have COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
  • Those who are immunocompromised (weakened immune system) from a solid organ transplant
  • Those who have obesity (body mass [BMI] of 30 or higher)
  • Those with serious heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies
  • Those who have Sickle cell disease
  • Those with Type 2 diabetes mellitus

Those who might also be at increased risk include:

  • Those with asthma (moderate-to-severe)
  • Those with cerebrovascular disease (affects blood vessels and blood supply to the brain)
  • Those with cystic fibrosis
  • Those with hypertension or high blood pressure
  • Those with an immunocompromised (weakened immune system) state from blood or bone marrow transplant, Immune deficiencies, HIV, use of corticosteroids, or use of other immune weakening medicines
  • Those with neurologic conditions, such as dementia
  • Those with liver disease
  • Those who are pregnant
  • Those who have pulmonary fibrosis (having damaged or scarred lung tissues)
  • Those who smoke
  • Those who have thalassemia (a type of blood disorder)
  • Those who have Type 1 diabetes mellitus

Now that COVID-19 is present in our community, we recommend that those who are at higher risk of severe illness with COVID-19 minimize their contact with people in the community outside of their immediate household. For more information and recommendations for those who are at higher risk, visit the CDC website.

Guidance for Susceptible Populations and Aging Adults during Safer at Home Phase:
  • Stay home except when absolutely necessary
    • People who are at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19 cannot be compelled to work for any business or function, including a critical business or critical government function, during this pandemic emergency.
  • Use special industry hours for susceptible populations (such as special hours for grocery shopping)
  • Use extreme precautions at facilities that serve aging adults, including assisted living

How can We Keep Our Community Safe

Protecting Yourself and Your Loved Ones From COVID-19...through everyday actions

  • Avoid close contact with others outside of your household
  • Maintain at least 6 feet of distance between yourself and others outside of those you live or work closely with
  • Frequently and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash, or use your inner elbow or sleeve
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Wear a cloth or homemade face covering when out. FAQs from Governor Polis about face coverings.
  • Clean surfaces in your home, and personal items such as cell phones, using regular household products

...through physical distancing

  • Stay home, especially if you are sick.
  • Don’t shake hands. Instead, greet people by waving, or just saying hello.
  • Increase the physical distance between people to six feet to help reduce spread. Consider keeping more distance between yourself and others when exercising or when around others who are exercising (biking, running, walking).
  • Encourage your friends, family, and neighbors to maintain physical distancing.
  • Carefully consider your travel plans and how to keep your risk of getting COVID-19 as low as possible while traveling. Visit the CDC COVID-19 travel website for more information and recommendations. Avoid putting yourself in a situation—whatever that might be—that might increase the risk given your situation.
  • Stay connected with loved ones by phone and online. Reach out to people if you need something. Consider if there are ways to attend meetings by phone or online.

...by being prepared

  • Make sure you have access to several weeks of medications, food, and supplies in case you need to stay home for prolonged periods of time.
    • Help those most at risk of severe illness with COVID-19 get any needed supplies and medications. Offer to make a trip out for them and leave the items on their doorstep.
  • Make a plan with your network about: 
    • how to check in with each other.
    • how others can deliver supplies so you can avoid crowds. 
    • how others can assist you with medical equipment or other needs in an emergency.

Before Participating in Activities

Activities are safer if you can maintain at least 6 feet of space between you and others, because COVID-19 spreads easier between people who are within 6 feet of each other. Indoor spaces with less ventilation where it might be harder to keep people apart are more risky than outdoor spaces. Interacting without wearing cloth face coverings also increases your risk. When deciding to participate in various activities, consider the level of risk that activity may carry for being exposed to COVID-19 or exposing others.

The risk of COVID-19 spreading at events and gatherings increases as follows:

  • Lowest risk: Virtual-only activities, events, and gatherings.
  • More risk: Smaller outdoor and in-person gatherings in which individuals from different households remain spaced at least 6 feet apart, wear cloth face coverings, do not share objects, and come from the same local area (e.g., community, town, city, or county).
  • Higher risk: Medium-sized in-person gatherings that are adapted to allow individuals to remain spaced at least 6 feet apart and with attendees coming from outside the local area.
  • Highest risk: Large in-person gatherings where it is difficult for individuals to remain spaced at least 6 feet apart and attendees travel from outside the local area.

Before participating in an activity consider:

  • How many other people will be participating in this activity?
  • Is the activity outside?
  • Can I put distance between myself and others?
  • How long will the activity take?
  • Do I feel 100% healthy?
  • How will I get there? Biking, walking, and driving in a car are all safer than public transportation.
  • Do I live with someone who is more vulnerable to COVID-19, and would be at high risk if I happened to bring the virus home?
  • What is the value of this activity to me versus the risk I am taking?

Interpersonal Violence

Not everyone has a safe home to shelter in during this outbreak. Domestic violence and child abuse may increase as individuals experience increased stress while survivors and their abusers are sheltered together for long periods of time. With more individuals out of work or working remotely and with children not able to attend school, these forms of violence have fewer opportunities to be noticed and addressed. It is particularly important during this time to check in on friends and neighbors. Many services are still open and available to help those who are affected by interpersonal violence.