At-risk groups and coronavirus: An update from the HSE

Ruth Healy
May 12, 2020

While we continue to learn about COVID-19, there are some fundamental understandings that we need to be vigilantly informed about for the entire duration of this pandemic.

Members of society who find themselves more at risk if they catch the virus need our support with knowing and respecting all official guidelines around preventing the spread of coronavirus and therefore protecting those more vulnerable to infection.

Serious illness risks apply to those who

  • Have long term medical conditions eg. heart disease, lung disease, cancer, high blood pressure
  • Have a weak immune system eg. cancer treatment, autoimmune disease treatment, HIV, organ or bone-marrow transplants
  • Are over 65; even more so for those over 75

The HSE advises that you call your doctor if you have any symptoms of coronavirus and are concerned.

Recommended guidelines for these at-risk groups include following the general advice for protecting yourself from coronavirus, as well as the following:

Other health factors to consider during this time of COVID-19 include:

  • Mental health
  • Taking medication
  • Pregnancy
  • Smoking

Read more on these plus a full overview on vulnerable citizens from the HSE here.


Update April 5:

If you are over the age of 70, the HSE are advising that cocooning will greatly reduce the change of getting COVID-19. You should minimise all non-essential contact and refrain from leaving your home in any circumstance - see our overview on cocooning practices here.

The measures shared are as follows:

  • strictly avoid contact with someone who is displaying symptoms of COVID-19. These symptoms include high temperature and/or new and continuous cough
  • do not leave your house
  • do not attend any gatherings. This includes gatherings of friends and families in private spaces for example family homes, weddings and religious services
  • do not go out for shopping and, when arranging food or medication deliveries, these should be left at the door to minimise contact
  • keep in touch using remote technology such as phone, internet, and social media
  • do use telephone or online services to contact your GP or other essential services
  • ensure you keep phones/devices charged, and have credit on your phone so that you can stay connected

Grandpal is here to help families organise and adapt to these new measures via the app's support-structured solution. For further resources and information, please check out's guidelines here

Helping family members look after their older loved ones

The Grandpal app helps families like yours focus on the well-being of an older loved one, giving transparency and clarity to the mix so that your family is as effective a team as possible

Join Grandpal