High-Risk Populations


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the following groups have been identified with higher risk of getting very sick from this illness:

  • Older adults
  • People with serious chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes, lung disease.

According to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) underlying medical conditions that may increase the risk of serious COVID-19 for individuals of any age also include:

  • Chronic kidney disease as defined by your doctor. Patient has been told to avoid or reduce the dose of medications because kidney disease, or is under treatment for kidney disease, including receiving dialysis.
  • Chronic liver disease as defined by your doctor. (e.g., cirrhosis, chronic hepatitis) Patient has been told to avoid or reduce the dose of medications because liver disease or is under treatment for liver disease.
  • Compromised immune system (immunosuppression) (e.g., seeing a doctor for cancer and treatment such as chemotherapy or radiation, received an organ or bone marrow transplant, taking high doses of corticosteroids or other immunosuppressant medications, HIV or AIDS).
  • Current or recent pregnancy in the last two weeks.
  • Endocrine disorders (e.g., diabetes mellitus).
  • Metabolic disorders (such as inherited metabolic disorders and mitochondrial disorders).
  • Heart disease (such as congenital heart disease, congestive heart failure and coronary artery disease).
  • Lung disease including asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (chronic bronchitis or emphysema) or other chronic conditions associated with impaired lung function or that require home oxygen.
  • Neurological and neurologic and neurodevelopment conditions [including disorders of the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerve, and muscle such as cerebral palsy, epilepsy (seizure disorders), stroke, intellectual disability, moderate to severe developmental delay, muscular dystrophy, or spinal cord injury].

If you fall into one of the categories listed above, you are strongly encouraged to stay home and practice social distancing as recommended by the MDH. 

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

MDH sent a message to Minnesota health care providers March 17 with the following guidance:

  • All patients with undiagnosed fever and/or acute respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath), even those not able to be tested, should self-quarantine for 7 days after illness onset, or 72 hours after resolution of fever (without taking fever-reducing medications), and improvement of respiratory symptoms, whichever is longer. Patients should seek care if their symptoms become severe. They should call ahead to health provider when possible.
  • Patients with symptoms who are not able to be tested should isolate themselves from household and intimate contacts as much as possible. Household and intimate contacts of these individuals should limit their activities in public for 14 days after the incorporating precautions in the home, and monitor for symptoms.

As we continue to receive new information, we will update clients and the public.

Apple COVID-19 Screening Tool

Apple Inc. released an app and website that guides Americans through a series of questions about their health and exposure to determine if they should seek care for COVID-19 symptoms. The tool was developed in partnership with the White House Coronavirus Task Force and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, including CDC.

Users can download the free app from Apple’s App Store at Apple: COVID-19 Screening Tool.


Page last updated on Tuesday, March 31, 2020.