The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has expanded the list of who it says are at “increased risk for getting severely ill from COVID-19.” In a recent press release, the agency writes that, while “older adults and people with underlying medical conditions remain at increased risk,” additional age-related factors and underlying medical conditions should be considered high risk for the virus. The CDC’s updated criteria now includes:
- all older adults, not just those over the age of 65, and risk increases steadily with age. Increased risk is, in part, due to the likelihood that older individuals have underlying medical conditions; and
- the following chronic medical conditions: kidney disease, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), obesity (BMI of 30 or higher), immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant, serious heart conditions (heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies), sickle cell disease and type 2 diabetes. The original list of conditions that can increase risk of severity is available on the CDC website.
CDC Director Robert Redfield says a clear understanding of who is at the highest risk for severe illness and complications can help physicians take appropriate measures to protect the health and well-being of these patients. Based on the expanded criteria, physicians are encouraged to communicate the importance of preventive measures, including hand washing, social distancing and wearing a face covering, particularly to those at heightened risk.
Our insured clinicians are advised to monitor CDC guidance for the treatment of COVID-19 patients. Additionally, MLMIC has assembled a number of other critical resources to support New York physicians as they care for patients during the pandemic including:
- New Risk Prediction Model Can Help Inform Clinical Care Decisions Related to COVID-19, a blog post on the new risk prediction model to help physicians forecast a patient’s likelihood of testing positive for COVID-19;
- NYSDOH Directive for Delivering Preventive and Follow-up Care During the Pandemic, a blog post on delivering routine preventive and follow-up services during the COVID-19 pandemic; and
- NIH Guidance for Treating Patients with COVID-19, a blog post on managing and treating COVID-19 patients based on the severity of illness.