Protect Yourself & Others: COVID-19
It is up to all of us to protect ourselves and others by following recommendations to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The more steps you take, the safer you will be. No single step on its own can completely prevent you from getting sick from COVID-19, so it is best to layer prevention measures when and where you can.
Check the CDC’s new COVID-19 Community Levels tool to see what is happening with COVID-19 in your area, and to determine what prevention measures are recommended for you.
- Get vaccinated. The best way to keep your family and friends safe is to get vaccinated if you are eligible. All Minnesotans age 5 and older are eligible to get vaccinated.
- Get a booster. All Minnesotans age 12 and older should get a booster shot when they are due. For information on when to get a booster, visit CDC: Stay Up to Date with Your Vaccines.
- Get tested when recommended. It is especially important to get tested if you have symptoms or were in close contact with someone who has COVID-19. Learn more about when and where to get tested at COVID-19 Testing.
- Stay home if you are sick. If you have symptoms or test positive, stay home and away from others (isolate). Learn more at If You Are Sick or Test Positive.
- Quarantine (stay home and away from others) if you were exposed to someone who has COVID-19. People who are up to date on COVID-19 vaccinations or who have had COVID-19 in the past three months may not need to quarantine in many situations. Learn more at Close Contacts and Quarantine.
- Wear a well-fitting mask when recommended or required.
- If you are in an area with a high COVID-19 community level, wear a mask in public indoor settings, regardless of vaccination status. Refer to CDC: COVID-19 by County to find masking recommendations in your area.
- You may choose to wear a mask at any time.
- Learn more about when to wear a mask and what types of masks offer the greatest protection at Masks: COVID-19.
- Wash your hands often, with soap and water. Wash for at least 20 seconds.
- If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol.
- Hand Hygiene
- Clean and then disinfect surfaces. Learn more at CDC: Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Home.
Safer celebrations and gatherings
In addition to the recommendations above, consider taking the following steps to make your gatherings safer.
- Know the vaccination status of people at the gathering.
- Know the COVID-19 community level of where you are gathering and recommended prevention strategies.
- Gather outdoors or in an area with good ventilation. If indoors, bring in fresh air by opening windows and doors if possible. Learn more about how to improve airflow, ventilation, circulation, and more at Indoor Air Considerations: COVID-19.
- Wear a mask when recommended or required.
- Lay low before you go. Minimize activities that present a high risk of exposure (attending crowded indoor public events, etc.) a couple of weeks before gatherings or travel so you don't get COVID-19 and spread it to others.
- Travel safer. Refer to the traveling section below.
- Celebrate Eid Safer During COVID-19 (PDF)
Additional guidance can be found on CDC: Small and Large Gatherings.
As a result of an April 18, 2022, federal court decision, the CDC will no longer enforce its order requiring masks on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations.
The Department of Justice plans to appeal the court's decision if the CDC determines that a mask requirement for public transportation remains necessary. In the meantime, the CDC continues to recommend that people wear masks in indoor public transportation settings. For more information, visit CDC: Requirement for Face Masks on Public Transportation Conveyances and at Transportations Hubs.
If you travel, do what you can to protect yourself, your family, and communities, even on road trips or travel within Minnesota.
- People who are not up to date on COVID-19 vaccinations, including children, should delay travel if possible. Travel increases your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19.
- Do not travel if you are sick or have tested positive for COVID-19.
- Do not travel if you had close contact with someone with COVID-19.
Students returning home for school breaks are strongly encouraged to follow CDC recommendations and the recommendations of their school district or Institutions of Higher Education, whichever is applicable.
Some jobs may have different requirements for traveling. Check with your employer about recommendations for returning from travel.
For recommendations and things to consider before, during, and after travel (e.g., testing, quarantining, social distancing), visit CDC: Domestic Travel During COVID-19.
International travel may pose additional risk. Follow federal guidelines at CDC: International Travel During COVID-19.
For the latest requirements and recommendations by destination, visit U.S. Department of State: Travel and CDC: COVID-19 Travel Recommendations by Destination. If you are a non-U.S. resident looking to travel to Minnesota, contact your country's embassy in the United States for additional guidance.
People at increased risk
Risk for severe illness increases with age, and people of any age who have underlying medical conditions may have a greater risk of getting very sick from COVID-19. People who are at an increased risk for severe disease include older adults and those who have certain medical conditions such as diabetes, overweight or obesity, and heart conditions. Immunocompromised people, even if up to date on COVID-19 vaccinations, should talk to their health care providers for other specific recommendations.
Talk with your health care provider if you are at greater risk of getting sicker from COVID-19. You may be a candidate for COVID-19 treatments and medication.
If you are at high risk for severe illness, wear a well-fitting mask in public indoor spaces (wear a high-quality mask like an N95 or KN95 if you can) and consider avoiding indoor activities where you may be exposed if you are in an area with a high COVID-19 community level.
If you are in an area with a medium or low COVID-19 community level, talk with your health care provider about precautions you should take, such as wearing a mask and having a plan for testing.
Knowing the COVID-19 levels in your county and your health risk will help determine what prevention measures are recommended for you. Learn more about what steps to take at CDC: COVID-19 Community Levels.
People who are pregnant are at a greater risk for getting very sick from COVID-19 compared to non-pregnant people. People who have COVID-19 during pregnancy are also at an increased risk of having a pre-term birth.
People who are pregnant and those who live with them should take steps to protect themselves from getting COVID-19.
Mother-to-child transmission of coronavirus during pregnancy is unlikely, but after birth a newborn is susceptible to person-to-person spread.
If you have COVID-19, have a healthy caregiver who is up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines and not at higher risk for severe illness provide care for your newborn. If you must care for your newborn before your isolation period ends, refer to recommendations at CDC: Breastfeeding and Caring for Newborns if You Have COVID-19.
For additional guidance on staying safe while pregnant or postpartum, visit:
People with disabilities may have underlying health conditions that put them at higher risk of COVID-19 and COVID-19-related complications or may have particular concerns. Visit:
For more information, visit:
- CDC: COVID-19 Information for Specific Groups of People
- Managing Chronic Conditions during COVID-19
- CDC: COVID-19 and HIV
- MATEC: COVID-19 Information for Persons Living with HIV in Minnesota (Google Doc)
Resources include supporting mental well-being during COVID-19. If someone you know is in crisis, use Crisis Text Line by texting MN to 741741.