Protect Yourself & Others: COVID-19
Slow the spread
It is up to all of us to protect ourselves and others by following recommendations to slow the spread of COVID-19. The more steps you take to slow the spread of COVID-19, the safer you will be. No single step on its own is perfect at preventing COVID-19 spread, so try to layer prevention measures when and where you can.
- Lowering Your Risk of COVID-19 (PDF)
Diagram of activities and settings with less risk and more risk.
Get vaccinated. COVID-19 vaccine is one of the best things you can get to prevent getting or spreading COVID-19.
If you are not vaccinated (including children)
- Keep at least 6 feet away from people from other households.
- Wear a mask indoors and outdoors when you cannot keep 6 feet away from others.
If you are fully vaccinated
- Learn more at About COVID-19 Vaccine: For fully vaccinated people.
Vaccinated or not vaccinated, MDH strongly recommends that you:
- Wear a mask in specific settings or situations found at Recommendations for Wearing Masks.
- 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
- Follow guidance on staying home (quarantine) if you were exposed to someone who has COVID-19. People who are fully vaccinated may not need to quarantine in many situations. Learn more at Close Contacts and Tracing.
- Stay home if you are sick. Wear a mask if you must go out.
- Cover Your Cough: cough or sneeze into your elbow or a tissue. Throw used tissues in the trash. Wash your hands.
- Work from home if possible.
- Clean and then disinfect surfaces. Learn more at CDC: Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Home.
- Consider postponing large celebrations and events until there is less community spread of COVID-19.
- If you host a smaller gathering, consider waiting until the people attending are fully vaccinated. You are considered fully vaccinated once it has been at least two weeks since the final dose of your vaccine.
- 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.
- Help keep friends and family safe by choosing lower-risk activities.
Prepare at home
- Create a household plan of action.
- It is important to keep regular check-ups to manage your health. Do not delay care for medical emergencies.
- Consider getting a two-week supply of prescription and over the counter medications, food, and other essentials to keep at home. Know how to get food delivered if possible.
- Plan how to communicate from home with family, friends, and co-workers.
- Learn the emergency plans for the places that people in your house go to work and school.
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. Ask your health care provider if you have greater risk of getting sicker from COVID-19.
For more information, visit:
- CDC: People at Increased Risk
- Managing Chronic Conditions during COVID-19
- CDC: COVID-19 and HIV
- MATEC: COVID-19 Information for Persons Living with HIV in Minnesota (Google Doc)
Based on current information, pregnant people might have a greater risk for getting very sick from COVID-19 compared to non-pregnant people. 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 on staying safe while pregnant or postpartum, visit:
- About the COVID-19 Vaccine - under Pregnant People
- Breastfeeding During the Current Health Crisis
- CDC: If You Are Pregnant, Breastfeeding, or Caring for Young Children
- March of Dimes: COVID-19: Things to Know if You're Pregnant (PDF)
- Pregnancy Program - Quit Partner
Learn more about free support to help pregnant and postpartum people quit smoking, vaping, or chewing commercial tobacco.
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:
COVID-19 can spread easily in homes with extended families and others who live together and interact every day. Follow the recommendations below to protect the people you live with, especially those who are most at risk.Preventing Spread of COVID-19 in Multifamily and Multigenerational Households (PDF)
- Preventing Spread of COVID-19 in Multifamily and Multigenerational Households in Amharic (PDF)
- Preventing Spread of COVID-19 in Multifamily and Multigenerational Households in Arabic (PDF)
- Preventing Spread of COVID-19 in Multifamily and Multigenerational Households in Chinese (PDF)
- Preventing Spread of COVID-19 in Multifamily and Multigenerational Households in Hmong (PDF)
- Preventing Spread of COVID-19 in Multifamily and Multigenerational Households in Karen (PDF)
- Preventing Spread of COVID-19 in Multifamily and Multigenerational Households in Lao (PDF)
- Preventing Spread of COVID-19 in Multifamily and Multigenerational Households in Oromo (PDF)
- Preventing Spread of COVID-19 in Multifamily and Multigenerational Households in Russian (PDF)
- Preventing Spread of COVID-19 in Multifamily and Multigenerational Households in Somali (PDF)
- Preventing Spread of COVID-19 in Multifamily and Multigenerational Households in Spanish (PDF)
- Preventing Spread of COVID-19 in Multifamily and Multigenerational Households in Vietnamese (PDF)
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 fully vaccinated, 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, even if you are vaccinated.
- Do not travel if you had close contact with someone with COVID-19.
- Visit CDC: Safer Travel Tips for Families with Unvaccinated Children for more information.
Students returning home for school breaks are strongly encouraged to follow CDC recommendations and the recommendations of their school district or Institutes 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, specifically:
- If you are fully vaccinated, follow CDC: Domestic Travel Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People.
- If you are not fully vaccinated and must travel, follow CDC: Domestic Travel Recommendations for Unvaccinated People.
International travel may pose additional risk, even for fully vaccinated travelers. Follow federal guidelines at CDC: International Travel During COVID-19.
CDC now requires all air passengers arriving to the U.S. from another country to get tested for COVID-19, whether or not they are vaccinated.
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.
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.
- Food Safety during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Best practices for serving food.
- Sexual Health
Includes safer sex during the COVID-19 pandemic resources.
- Quit Partner
Free support for Minnesotan who want to quit smoking, vaping, chewing, or using other commercial tobacco products.
- Minnesota Department of Natural Resources: COVID-19 Response
Guidelines address public health protection measures for outdoor recreation.