Vulnerable populations are people who have health conditions, living conditions, and/or job situations that render them more susceptible to contracting COVID-19 and/or at an increased risk of having harmful, long-term health effects after getting COVID-19.
Health Conditions that Increase Risk
People older than 65 years of age
People with underlying respiratory illnesses such as chronic lung disease and asthma
People who are immuno-compromised and those with other underlying health conditions such as pregnancy, heart conditions, obesity, and diabetes. See the full list here
People with disabilities who have limited mobility, difficulty understanding preventative health measures, and/or requirements to be in close proximity with service providers.
High-Risk Job and Living Situations
Homeless populations because many have increased exposure, increased need to congregate for food and shelter, and less access to health care.
Populations living in nursing homes and long-term care facilities
Necessary jobs at risk of high exposure such as medical professionals, first-responders, service industry providers, and flight attendants (see "Essential Workers").
CURRENT GAPS in POLICY
The federal policies outlined in the "Noncommercial Economic Relief" and "Food and Hunger Relief" sections of this website do help these vulnerable populations. However, there are many holes in specific policies to aid these vulnerable groups before they get sick. Beyond providing some financial relief and increased health care after getting symptoms, the government has not taken much action to prevent COVID-19 within and to protect these groups.