The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is working to clarify who is most at risk.
If you've traveled recently or have been around large groups of people, such as in airports, conferences or concerts, here's how you can determine your risk if you think you've been in contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19.
- High Risk: Close contact in a household with someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19.
- Medium Risk: Sustained close contact (10 minutes or longer) within six feet of a symptomatic person.
- Low Risk: Being in the same room as a symptomatic person who has tested positive for COVID-19 but you didn't go within six feet of them.
- No Risk: Walking by or briefly being in a room with a symptomatic person who tested positive.
If you do believe you're in the medium or high-risk categories, call your doctor or county health department.
The best way to protect yourself is with a common-sense approach to good hygiene. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that you:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing; going to the bathroom; and before eating or preparing food.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
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As with influenza and other communicable diseases, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems, such as those with severe chronic medical conditions (heart, lung or kidney disease) seem to be at higher risk for more serious COVID-19 illness.
Children do not seem to be at heightened risk, NCFHHS said, and no one group, ethnicity or population in the United States is at a higher risk for getting coronavirus than others.
RELATED: Dr. Elizabeth Cuervo Tilson, the State Health Director and the Chief Medical Officer for the Department of Health and Human Services, joined us in the ABC11 studio on Monday to answer your questions about COVID-19 and the risks.
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