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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expanded its warnings Thursday to include more demographic groups at risk for the coronavirus such as younger people who are obese and who have underlying health problems.

Why it matters: The shift reflects what states and hospitals have been seeing since the pandemic began, which is that young people can get seriously ill from COVID-19. Much of the directive was focused on those with preexisting conditions and individuals who are 65 or older.

What's happening: Based on several recent studies and reports, the CDC has placed more attention on populations at risk with a number of health conditions:

  • Age: The agency warns that among adults, risk of COVID-19 increases steadily as you age, not just those over 65.
  • Obesity: Those who have a body mass index of 30 or higher. The original warning was for people with a BMI of 40 or more.
  • Pregnancy: Being pregnant may increase one's risk of being hospitalized and having severe illness. In the study, more than 8,000 pregnant women were diagnosed with COVID-19.

Thursday's guidance also categorizes medical conditions that can affect the severity of illness:

  • Conditions that increase risk: Chronic kidney disease; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease; obesity; weakened immune system from solid organ transplant; serious heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease or cardiomyopathies; sickle cell disease; Type 2 diabetes.
  • Conditions that may increase risk: Chronic lung diseases, including moderate to severe asthma and cystic fibrosis; high blood pressure; a weakened immune system; neurologic conditions, such as dementia or history of stroke; liver disease; pregnancy.

Go deeper

Updated 9 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Omicron pushes COVID deaths toward 2,000 per day — The pandemic-proof health care giant.
  2. Vaccines: No evidence that healthy children, teens need boosters, WHO says — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older.
  5. Variant tracker

Trump's physician details president's COVID-19 treatment

President Trump. Photo: Mandel Ngan / Getty Images

White House physician Sean Conley issued a statement Friday detailing the type of coronavirus test that President Trump took before receiving a positive result, as well as his current COVID-19 treatment.

Why it matters: Trump, who is reportedly experiencing "mild" symptoms, is at higher risk for a severe COVID-19 infection due to his age and body mass index.

Biden says he received two COVID-19 tests before visiting Michigan

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. Photo: JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Image

Joe Biden said he received two COVID-19 tests on Friday after news that President Trump and the First Lady have tested positive for the virus, and the former vice president's team cancelled one of its previously planned events for safety concerns.

Driving the news: "We wanted to make sure that we're doing everything by the numbers," Biden said during remarks on the economy in Grand Rapids, Mich. "And so I got to two COVID tests this morning. One in Delaware and one by the former White House doc who came up. Everything is clear, we wanted to make sure everything was cleared before I came."