At Risk Individuals
Individuals & Families

People with certain medical conditions like diabetes, heart disease and respiratory illness have an increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19. When an individual with any of these underlying conditions contracts COVID-19, their preexisting condition, or “comorbidity,” increases the chances of severe symptoms and even death.

In Shelby County, 94% of deaths related to COVID-19 have had a preexisting condition — or comorbidity. People of any age with the following conditions are at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19:

Heart Conditions


Respiratory illness like COPD



Chronic kidney disease

Sickle Cell disease

Immunocompromised patients (weakened immune system)

Learn more at

In addition, the CDC advises that additional factors, such as your unique individual situation or where you live, may influence the need to take extra precautions against COVID-19:

Your Individual Situation

• Racial and Ethnic Minority Groups

• Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

• People with Disabilities

• Developmental and Behavioral Disorders

• Drug Use and Substance Use Disorder

Where You Live

• People Living in Rural Communities

• People Experiencing Homelessness

• Newly Resettled Refugee Populations

• Nursing Home and Longer-Term Care Facilities

• Group Homes for People with Disabilities

Learn more about those who may need extra precautions.

For answers to specific questions, call the Shelby County Health Department COVID-19 Call Center at 901-222-MASK (6275). The Shelby County Health Department is available to take calls 8:00am-4:30pm, Monday-Sunday.New Text Module

At-Risk Individuals

Learn more about if you might be an “at-risk” individual and what extra precautions you might take.

What You Can Do If You Are At Higher Risk of Severe Illness from COVID-19

People at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 include older adults, people who live in a nursing home or long-term care facility, and people of all ages with underlying medical conditions. Learn what you can do to protect yourself.

COVID-19 Associated Hospitalization Related to Underlying Medical Conditions


Learn more about what you need to know about traveling during the COVID-19 pandemic and when you should delay travel.

Traveling During COVID-19

Learn more about what you should consider before traveling, what to consider if you travel, the type of travel and tips to avoid getting and spreading COVID-19 in common travel situations

Connect With Us