CDC to Older Adults: “Stay at home as much as possible”

This advice is on a CDC website.
March 10, 2020

Amid a coronavirus outbreak in the United States, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is encouraging older people and people with severe chronic medical conditions to “stay at home as much as possible.”

This advice is on a CDC website that was posted last Thursday, according to a CDC spokeswoman. Early data suggests older people are twice as likely to have serious illness from the novel coronavirus, according to the CDC.

Dr. William Schaffner, a Vanderbilt University professor and longtime adviser to the CDC, said these two groups should consider avoiding activities such as traveling by airplane, going to movie theaters, attending family events, shopping at crowded malls, and going to religious services. Schaffner added, “The single most important thing you can do to avoid the virus is reduce your face to face contact with people.”

Schaffner and Michael Osterholm, the former state epidemiologist for Minnesota, said their advice has some flexibility for important events.

“This is not an instruction. This is not an order,” Schaffner said. “I’m not asking everyone to stay at home and lock the door for a month. I’m saying, be thoughtful every time you contemplate getting together with a crowd or group.”

Navigate in this section: