New coronavirus: People at especially high risk

The new coronavirus can be dangerous for people over 65, pregnant women and adults with certain pre-existing conditions. They may become seriously ill. What should they pay attention to?

Who is considered to be at especially high risk

Many people who fall ill with the new coronavirus get well again. But the virus is particularly dangerous for the following groups of people, as they risk contracting a severe case of the disease:

People over the age of 65

Pregnant women

Adults with the following underlying medical conditions:

  • High blood pressure
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Diabetes
  • Chronic respiratory diseases
  • Cancer
  • Conditions and therapies that weaken the immune system
  • Obesity class III (morbid, BMI greater than or equal to 40 kg/m2)

The document entitled ‘Categories of persons at high risk (PDF, 139 kB, 24.06.2020)’ contains a continually updated list of who is considered to be at especially high risk based on the latest scientific findings.

If you are unsure whether you are at a higher risk of becoming severely ill, please contact your doctor.

Further information

The fact sheet entitled New coronavirus: Recommendations for people with underlying medical conditions (PDF, 467 kB, 29.05.2020) offers further information for people at especially high risk. It also provides details of support services available to help those affected manage their illness in the current situation.

Children and young people

The risk of children developing severe cases of COVID-19 is low. According to current medical research and experience, children are not considered to be an at risk group requiring additional protective measures. However, evaluations are made on a case-by-case basis by the attending doctor.

How to protect yourself

The best way to protect yourself from infection is to carry on observing the rules on hygiene and social distancing. The recommendations are as follows:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly and regularly with soap and water.
  • Keep your distance from other people (at least 1.5 metres).
  • Observe the requirement to wear a mask on public transport.
  • Follow the rules on hygiene and social distancing, even when meeting friends or family, e.g. not using the same cutlery to serve food and not drinking from the same glass, etc.
  • Avoid places frequented by large numbers of people (e.g. railway stations, public transport) and peak times (e.g. shopping on Saturdays, commuting). If you do find yourself in places frequented by large numbers of people and are unable to keep the necessary distance, we recommend you wear a face mask.

You will find information on the protection of employees under Measures and ordinances.

What to do if you experience symptoms

If you experience symptoms such as a cough (usually dry), sore throat, shortness of breath, a high temperature, feverishness, muscle ache or sudden loss of sense of taste or smell, call your doctor or a hospital immediately, even at the weekend. Describe your symptoms and state that you are in a high-risk group.

Visits to care homes

Residents of old people's homes and nursing homes are among those at especially high risk. They should therefore be protected against infection as far as possible. Visits to homes and outings outside the institutions should, however, be possible in principle.

Contact the institutions directly to find out about special precautions, social distancing rules and visiting times.

Further information

Requirements for sets of precautionary measures

For businesses/institutions, children and schools, gastronomy sector, medical practices, public transport, sport and recommendations for employers

Disease, symptoms, treatment

Symptoms of disease, range of illness severity, treatment, COVID-19, new coronavirus

Easy-to-read language

Rules and prohibitions of the Federal Council, information about the corona virus, when you have to stay at home

Sign language

The rules and prohibitions of the Federal Council, information about the corona virus, when you have to stay at home

Last modification 05.08.2020

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Contact

We are unable to respond to enquiries related to COVID-19 in writing.

Please refer instead to our webpages, which are continuously updated.

Under Contacts and links you will find contact information for the FOPH, other federal agencies and the cantons.

Tel.
+41 58 463 00 00

Print contact

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