Open Accessibility Menu

COVID-19 Risk

Who is at risk for infection with the virus that causes COVID-19?

Currently, those at greatest risk of infection are persons who have had prolonged, unprotected close contact with a patient with symptomatic, confirmed COVID-19 and those who live in or have recently been to areas with sustained transmission. For more information, see Risk Assessment.

Who is at risk for severe disease from COVID-19?

If my patient has one of the underlying medical conditions listed, what is my patient’s risk and what should I tell my patient?

  • There is insufficient information on COVID-19 to determine risk for each underlying medical condition. Epidemiologists at CDC are analyzing data around the clock to help us more precisely understand the risks of COVID-19. Information will be shared as soon as it’s available.
  • You know your patient – their overall health and how well their conditions are managed. Use your clinical judgement to evaluate on a case by case basis.
  • Tell patients with underlying medical conditions that increase their risk of severe illness or poorer outcomes from COVID-19:
    • To stay home as much as possible to reduce their risk of being exposed.
    • Encourage patients to closely follow their care plans for management of their chronic disease, including better glycemic or blood pressure control.
  • If possible, work with patients to manage their underlying condition to the best of their ability, including ensuring that patients have sufficient medication and supplies. Encourage all patients, regardless of risk, to:
    • Take steps to protect yourself.
    • Call your healthcare provider if you are sick with a fever, cough, or shortness of breath.
    • Follow CDC travel guidelines and the recommendations of your state and local health officials.
  • Fear and anxiety about a disease can feel overwhelming, especially for those who might be at higher risk or are experiencing social isolation, and for healthcare providers that are treating patients at higher risk .Do what you can to take care of your mental health and encourage your patients to do the same.

Are pregnant healthcare personnel at increased risk for adverse outcomes if they care for patients with COVID-19?

  • Pregnant healthcare personnel (HCP) should follow risk assessment and infection control guidelines for HCP exposed to patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. Adherence to recommended infection prevention and control practices is an important part of protecting all HCP in healthcare settings. Information on COVID-19 in pregnancy is very limited; facilities may want to consider limiting exposure of pregnant HCP to patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19, especially during higher risk procedures (e.g., aerosol-generating procedures) if feasible based on staffing availability.