I have a weakened immune system. How can I protect myself from COVID-19?
If you have underlying medical conditions then you are considered at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19, which makes you and those who live with you vulnerable should you get exposed to the virus. The more underlying medical conditions you have, the greater your risk is for severe illness from COVID-19. Because of this, you should be aware of the level of risk before deciding to go out. Also, it is important to take steps to protect yourself and the members of your household.
Consider avoiding activities where taking protective measures are difficult, especially if social distancing cannot be maintained. Everyone should take part in reducing the spread of COVID-19 to protect themselves, their communities, and people who are at higher risk of getting severe illness if they catch COVID-19.
As a general rule, you have a higher risk of catching and spreading COVID-19 when you interact with more people at a distance of less than 6 feet for a period of longer than 15 minutes. The environment in which you interact with others also plays a part, and staying indoors where there is poor air ventilation increases the risk of getting COVID-19.
If you must go outside and engage with other people, continue protecting yourself by practicing preventive measures especially frequent hand washing and wearing personal protective equipment such as face masks or cloth face coverings, if available.
Also, carry the following items with you when going outside: an extra face mask, tissues, hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Avoid other people who are not wearing masks. Maintain social distancing.
Seek advice from your healthcare provider as to how your pre-existing medical conditions affect your risk of getting severe illness from COVID-19. This will empower you to make informed decisions to protect yourself from the disease. Call your provider if you have any concerns, and do not delay emergency care if you feel sick.