Daily Life & Coping: COVID-19 - Minnesota Dept. of Health
On Feb. 16, 2021, we updated our Close Contacts and Tracing quarantine guidance to align with recent CDC public health recommendations for vaccinated persons. Other materials will be updated as quickly as possible.

Daily Life & Coping: COVID-19

Older family members and those with weak immune systems can get sicker than other people. They need more distance from other family members. Young children need hands-on care. Here are some daily reminders to help keep all family members, particularly in a multigenerational home, safe and healthy.

On this page:
Prepare at home
Food and other errands
Have a backup caretaker
Help children stay active
Stay connected
    Safer celebrations: holidays and gatherings
Manage stress
Health equity
Pregnant and postpartum people
Household pets
Other resources

Prepare at home

Food and other errands

Go out only to buy food, medicine, and other needed items.

  • Send only one or two household members with lower risk to do tasks outside the home if you can. They should wear a cloth face cover that fits close around their nose and mouth. They should stay at least 6 feet away from others and try not to use public transportation, such as trains or buses. They should wash their hands as soon as they get home. They should not touch anyone or pets before they shower and change their clothes, if possible.
  • Getting food and other needed items can be hard for some families. Many community groups and businesses are working to help children and older adults get the food they need.
  • Healthy Eating During the COVID-19 Pandemic

  • Many pharmacies will send prescription medicine by mail to people who take medications on a regular basis. This way people at higher risk can get their medicine without going to the store.

  • Help Older Adults MN
    Services for older adults during COVID-19 compiled by the Minnesota Association of Area Agencies on Aging and the Minnesota Board on Aging.

Have a backup caretaker

  • Some family members may have a helper who comes to the house to care for them. A family member may also be the regular helper. It is important to plan who will care for a family member with a disability if the regular helper gets sick. Know who will care for a helper if the helper is a family member and gets sick.
  • The sick person should wear a cloth face cover when the helper is in the room. You may want to ask helpers to wear cloth face covers when in your home. The sick person and other family members who will be less than 6 feet from the helper may also want to wear a face cover. Ask helpers to wash their hands before and after caring for the sick person.

Help children stay active

Hobbies and other fun things to do at home are important for everyone, especially children.

Stay connected

Manage stress

Health equity

  • Health equity means everyone has the same chance to be as healthy as possible. Minnesota on average is one of the healthiest states in the country. However, not everyone in Minnesota has the same chance to be healthy.
  • The general health of Minnesotans of color and American Indians is very different from those who are white.
  • General health is also very different in LGBTQ and other communities: people with disabilities; those who live in rural communities; and people who are homeless or have unstable housing. Some Minnesotans are part of more than one of these communities.
  • Things that can get in the way of being healthy also play a part in the unequal way that COVID-19 is affecting some Minnesota communities.

Pregnant and postpartum people

  • Based on current information, pregnant people might have a greater risk for getting very sick from COVID-19 compared to non-pregnant people.
    • Pregnant people with COVID-19 may have a greater risk of pregnancy complications, such as preterm birth (born before 37 weeks of pregnancy).
    • It is important to reduce your risk of getting COVID-19.
  • Like with all illnesses, pregnant people, and those who live with them, should protect themselves against getting sick.
    • Stay home as much as possible.
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when in public, and continue to keep 6 feet between yourself and others.
    • Frequently wash your hands thoroughly with soap for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer.
    • Clean or disinfect frequently touched surfaces at least daily.
    • If you start feeling sick and you think you may have COVID-19, call your health care provider within 24 hours.
    • Do not skip your prenatal care appointments or postpartum appointments. If you are concerned about attending your appointments due to COVID-19, talk to your health care provider.
  • Mother-to-child transmission of coronavirus during pregnancy is unlikely, but after birth a newborn is susceptible to person-to-person spread.
  • Breastfeeding during COVID-19:
    • Breastfeeding is the best, most nurturing way of feeding your baby – something special you can do for your infant, even during the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • If you are sick, wash your hands before each feeding and wear a face mask.
  • For additional guidance, see:


  • CDC recommends limiting contact with pets and other animals if you are sick. Information about COVID-19 disease and how it spreads is still being studied.
  • Have extra pet food and pet medications in case you must stay at home.
  • Have a plan in case you get sick and need help caring for pets.
  • CDC also recommends:
    • Wash your hands after handling your animals.
    • Do not let pets have contact with people or other animals outside the home.
    • Keep pets indoors, or on a leash during walks. Stay 6 feet away from other people and animals.
  • CDC: If You Have Animals
  • To prepare to care for your pets in case you or your family must stay home, think about necessary items to have on hand ahead of time, including pet food and medications.

Other resources

Updated Wednesday, 17-Feb-2021 15:52:39 CST