This page was updated 8/5/21
Latest CDC Updates
On July 27th, the Center for Disease Control released a revision of their mask recommendations in response to the spread of the Delta COVID-19 variant.
New recommendations are as follows:
- Fully vaccinated people are recommended to wear masks in public indoor settings in areas of Substantial to High transmission (Hennepin and Ramsey Counties are now considered Substantial).
- Fully vaccinated people who have had a known exposure to someone with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID should get tested 3-5 days after exposure, and wear a mask indoors for 14 days or until a negative test result.
- Universal indoor masking is recommended for teachers, staff, students, and visitors to schools regardless of vaccination status.
- Note: Hennepin and Ramsey Counties now require masks inside county buildings (Effective Aug 4).
What Is Different About The Delta Variant?
- According to the CDC, Delta spreads about twice as easily as previous COVID strains. About 80% of COVID cases nationwide are Delta cases (Delta cases were about 1% of nationwide cases in May).
- Fully vaccinated people can be infected by Delta and may be able to spread it to others.
- The vaccine still offers excellent protection from the Delta strain — most infections are among unvaccinated people and vaccinated people who do become infected are much more likely to have mild symptoms if any.
COVID-19 vaccines are free for all, regardless of insurance.
To get vaccinated, you only need to meet eligibility requirements. All Minnesotans aged 16+ are now eligible!
Statewide Vaccine Connector
Minnesota residents can register for the Vaccine Connector. All Minnesotans are now eligible, so register! You will receive updates on vaccine opportunities.
Hennepin County Vaccine Connector
Hennepin County residents can also register for the county’s vaccine connector tool. Registering for this system does not disqualify you from the state-wide Vaccine Connector.
COVID-19 Vaccine Spotter
Minnesota COVID-19 Vaccine Spotter is another helpful tool. You can search by pharmacy, vaccine type, and appointment type. It displays vaccine appointments in real time.
Vaccinations are well underway in Minnesota!
All Minnesotans are now eligible for the vaccine. The Moderna vaccine is approved for adults aged 18+. The Pfizer vaccine is approved for ages 12+.
There are many opportunities to get vaccinated! Get yours as soon as possible so we can protect each other!
Check out MDH’s COVID-19 frequently asked questions here:Vaccine FAQ (66 downloads)
Frequently asked questions about current vaccination eligibility guidelines:Vaccine Eligibility FAQ (43 downloads)
Find vaccine information for COVID-19 here:Vaccine Resources (47 downloads)
Better understand the terminology about vaccines:Vaccine Terminology (43 downloads)
If you are making travel plans, be sure to take all steps to ensure the safest possible journey.
Whether you are travelling domestically or internationally, the CDC advises delaying plans until you can get fully vaccinated.
Wear a mask at all times, avoid crowds and social distance when possible, and wash hands frequently.
What if I need to travel before I’m vaccinated?
If you need to travel before getting vaccinated, there’s a few extra precautions to take.
- Get tested 1-3 days prior to leaving
- Get tested 3-5 days after travel and self-quarantine for 7 days (10 if not tested)
- Self-monitor for symptoms
- Wear a mask!
With so much new information, it can be hard to keep up with everything.
Scammers know that and have been taking advantage of the uncertainty. This graphic from Minnesota Department of Health has tips for recognizing and avoiding scams.
Free testing is available!
The below community testing sites are designed to serve the local community. If you live farther away, we encourage you to get tested at your local clinic.
The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is offering Minnesotans more and different options for COVID-19 testing by offering saliva testing, in addition to traditional COVID-19 community testing, in a growing number of locations across the state. The test is more comfortable than a nasal swab, and available at no cost to anyone who believes they need a COVID-19 test.
- Saliva testing is free and available to all Minnesotans who believe they need to be tested, with or without symptoms.
- Identification is not required. You do need to have an email address and phone number to receive your results.
- Insurance is not required. If you do have insurance, you will need to show your card. The test is completely free whether or not you have insurance, and you will not receive a bill.
- Saliva testing may not be right for those with low saliva production, such as children under age 4 or someone who has suffered a stroke.
Nasal swab testing is available in many clinics and hospitals across Minnesota.
- Signing up ahead of time helps avoid long lines. People who walk in without an appointment might have to come back later or another day.
- If you are not able to sign up online, or need an interpreter, call 1-855-612-0677 for assistance.
- You’ll need to show your identification and insurance information (if you have insurance) when you arrive.
There are many COVID19 testing sites throughout Minnesota. Find one near you.
Locations are setting their own guidelines for patients. Some are only testing symptomatic patients, some are accepting asymptomatic patients, some are fee-based. Various location information is on the site.
Some locations can perform a rapid COVID-19 test for an additional fee. They aren’t as accurate as a nasal or saliva test, especially if you don’t have symptoms.