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Older adults are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19. Getting very sick means that older adults with COVID-19 might need hospitalization, intensive care, or a ventilator to help them breathe, or they might even die. This risk increases for people over 50, and especially for people 85 and older.
Older adults, and those who live with, visit or provide care for them, need to take steps to protect themselves from getting COVID-19:
- Get vaccinated as soon as possible.
- To maximize protection from the Delta variant and prevent possibly spreading it to others, wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission.
- If you are not fully vaccinated, consider wearing a mask in crowded outdoor settings and for activities with close contact with others who are not fully vaccinated.
- People who have a condition or are taking medications that weaken their immune system may NOT be protected even if they are fully vaccinated. They should continue to take all precautions recommended for unvaccinated people, including wearing a well-fitted mask, until advised otherwise by their healthcare provider.
- Limit your in-person interactions with other people as much as possible, particularly when indoors.
- Keep space between yourself and others (stay 6 feet away, which is about 2 arm lengths).
- Wash your hands often. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or the inside of your elbow. Then wash your hands.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces and things you touch often.
- The more people you interact with, the more closely you interact with them, and the longer that interaction, the more likely you are to get or spread the virus that causes COVID-19.
Click here for more information about older adults and COVID-19, including information about visiting older adults in residential communities