COVID-19 Resource Center / Discover Your Risk For COVID-19
Discover Your Risk For COVID-19
Are you at low risk, medium or high risk for getting COVID-19?
Why do some people avoid COVID-19, others test positive with no symptoms, and still others end up in the hospital? It’s important to know your individual risk for contracting the disease and contracting a severe case. This can help you determine any extra precautions you may need to take.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) publishes a list of underlying medical conditions that are predictors of your susceptibility to severe illness, including cancer, chronic liver disease, heart conditions, and being immunocompromised. Severe illness is defined as being hospitalized, needing intensive care, or requiring a ventilator to help breathe.
See the CDC’s full list of medical conditions that may indicate severe illness from COVID-19 »
Factors Influencing COVID-19 Severity
The older you are, the more risk you have of getting very sick from COVID-19. According to the CDC, more than 81% of COVID-19 deaths occur in people over age 65.
Other factors that can contribute to severe illness from COVID-19 include smoking, where you live or work, amount of physical activity, access to health care, substance abuse, and if you are overweight or obese.
Learn more about the increased risks of COVID-19 for:
See CDC data on COVID-19 cases and deaths by rural and metro areas »
Risks for Racial and Ethnic Groups
Some racial and ethnic groups are at more risk of getting sick and dying from COVID-19. Some determining factors of susceptibility to severe illness or death include lack of access to health care, where you live and worship, essential worker settings, reluctance to vaccinate based on historical events and beliefs, and general lack of health equity.
Learn about COVID-19 vaccine equity for racial and ethnic minority groups »
Read why some racial and ethnic minority groups are disproportionately affected by COVID-19 »
Risks for Children and Teens
The same risk factors for adults apply to children and teens, such as obesity, diabetes, asthma or chronic lung disease, sickle cell disease, or being immunocompromised. These conditions mean you can be at an increased risk for getting very sick. Additionally, evidence suggests genetic, neurologic, or metabolic conditions can also place kids and teens at higher risk.
Read the CDC recommendations for COVID-19 vaccines for children and teens »
Actions You Can Take
Vaccines and booster shots have proven to be effective in lessening the severity of COVID-19 illness and death. Protect yourself and others by staying up to date with your vaccinations and boosters.
You can assess your risk and adjust precautions accordingly. If you are at moderate to high risk, wear a well-fitting mask, avoid crowds and poorly ventilated spaces, wash your hands often, cover your own coughs and sneezes, and monitor your health daily.
If you have one of the underlying medical conditions known to increase your risk, avoid the triggers for your condition. For example, if you have asthma and pets or mold trigger an attack, avoid them.
If you experience shortness of breath or need emergency help, call 911 or go to your nearest Emergency Department.
Learn about more precautions you can take at the CDC website.
Read CDC guidance on COVID-19 vaccines »