This is the first in a series on opening up safely with the goal to provide a framework for evaluating risk as states and counties begin to relax stay home orders. In subsequent posts we’ll cover assessing the safety of your local area, evaluating specific activities, and mitigating your risk of exposure. Here we look at assessing your personal risk.

As counties and states begin to lift restrictions, there are a number of things to keep in mind when figuring out what activities to participate in. The first factor to consider is your personal risk and the risk of those in your family for a severe case of COVID-19. Since the beginning of this pandemic, we have learned more about the conditions which lead to an increased chance for a severe infection.

Reviewing the chart below will help you to identify your level of risk. Repeat the process for each member of your household and those who you come into close contact with. We recommend adopting the risk profile of the member of your household with the highest risk as it is difficult to isolate within a home.

It’s important to emphasize, it’s possible to be low risk and still have a severe case of COVID-19. We continue to learn about why some low-risk people have severe cases and others don’t even show symptoms. Scientists are currently exploring factors such as genetics, blood type, and viral load (the amount of virus someone is exposed to).

Each person has their own risk tolerance, and we encourage you to evaluate the risk factors above into what activities you choose to participate in and the precautionary steps you take. We always recommend taking precautions to protect yourself, including wearing a mask covering both nose and mouth at all times and keeping six feet of distance from other people.

Knowing your risk factors and how to assess your personal risk for contracting COVID-19 or becoming very ill from it is important for COVID-19 prevention. Forward’s COVID-19 Care Program offers app-based assessments, up-to-date information, COVID treatments, and vaccination to help you stay safe and healthy as the pandemic continues around the world.

No long waits. One flat fee. No copays — ever.

Fed up with a soul-sucking healthcare system? Same. With unlimited visits, personalized insights and real, actionable results, find out what it’s like to actually enjoy seeing your doctor.