Spread joy, not COVID. Get Vaccinated. Get Tested. Get Boosted.
There’s No Joy in COVID. New variants such as Delta and Omicron are even more contagious forms of the virus and the rates of circulation are very high in Minnesota right now. This means it is important to take extra care to prevent exposure and transmission. Before your holiday gathering, follow the below advice to help protect your family and loved ones and to make sure the only thing you are spreading this season is cheer.
- Get Vaccinated. Vaccines are the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones this holiday season—especially those who can’t be vaccinated and children under 5. The more people who are vaccinated, the less the virus will circulate.
- Find vaccines for your children: https://mn.gov/covid19/vaccine/vaxforkids/index.jsp
- Find vaccine for the whole family: https://mn.gov/covid19/vaccine/find-vaccine/locations/index.jsp
- Get Tested. Take advantage of one of the many free testing options the state has to offer before your holiday gatherings. Make an appointment at a community testing site (https://www.mn.gov/covid19/get-tested/testing-locations/community-testing.jsp) or order a test through the at-home testing program (https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/testsites/athome.html) or head to your local clinic or pharmacy.
- Make sure to get your family tested with enough time to get your results before your holiday gatherings.
- If you receive a rapid antigen test, you should expect results within 15 minutes-3 hours.
- If you receive a saliva PCR test, you should expect results within 24-72 hours.
- State testing sites are closed December 24, 25, 31 and January 1. Find other options on the state’s Find My Test map. (https://mn.gov/covid19/get-tested/testing-locations/index.jsp)
- Get Boosted. All adults 18 and older should get a booster when they are due (6 months after receiving Pfizer and Moderna, and 2 months after receiving Johnson & Johnson). https://mn.gov/covid19/vaccine/boosters/index.jsp
- You Know What to Do. You know what to do to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. Beyond getting vaccinated, boosted, and tested, wear your mask in indoor public settings, wash your hands, and do your best to avoid crowded indoor spaces before getting together with family and friends—especially high-risk loved ones and children under 5 who can’t be vaccinated.
Celebrate Safely Campaign:
- The Walz Administration’s “Celebrate Safely, MN” campaign is a coordinated, statewide effort to help provide Minnesotans with the resources they need—from information to tests, vaccines, and boosters—to safely celebrate this holiday season.
- The campaign encourages vaccination, testing, and boosters in addition to other steps like monitoring for symptoms and staying home if you have symptoms, avoiding large crowds and wearing well-fitting masks when you go out in public and are indoors, including when you join family and friends for holiday gatherings.
- The campaign will provide Minnesotans with information as to where they can get their test, vaccine, or booster and promote why using multiple steps is critical to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as we celebrate.
- Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect you, your family and your friends against COVID-19. All Minnesotans age 5 and older are encouraged to get vaccinated! Learn more at mn.gov/vaxforkids
- The vaccines have all gone through extensive clinical trials and have proven to be safe and effective.
- Incorporating community feedback to meet families where they are, the Walz-Flanagan Administration has mobilized a diverse network of providers statewide to administer COVID-19 vaccines to children and families. Find COVID-19 Vaccine Locations (https://mn.gov/covid19/vaccine/find-vaccine/locations/index.jsp).
- To meet the needs of families ahead of the holidays, the State’s Mall of America (MOA) site has increased vaccination capacity to 2,000 shots a day! Governor Walz has also secured federal support in the form of 15 FEMA vaccinators to help administer shots at MOA.
- In December, the state is hosting 63 vaccination events for Minnesota families:
- 39 vaccine events at schools for 5-11 year-olds
- 18 non-school community vaccination events
- 3 mobile vaccine events
- 3 semi-permanent community vaccination locations
- In coordination with the State, local public health agencies are holding 163 events for the month of December.
- The state is also working with COVID-19 Community Coordinators to host 49 vaccination events in counties across Minnesota. The clinics will be focused on diverse communities and populations disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 including Minnesota’s African American, African Immigrant, American Indian, Asian American Pacific Islander, Latinx, LGBTQ, and Disability communities.
- The state is also hosting four vaccination events for seasonal and migrant workers in December.
- The State has also partnered with Minnesota doctors to create educational videos to help parents learn about the vaccine and the benefits of getting their children vaccinated.
- Watch a Q&A to learn all about the vaccine for kids with Dr. Andrea Singh:PSA: Why Should I Vaccinate My Child Against COVID-19? With Dr. Andrea Singh – YouTube
- Watch what Minnesota doctors have to say about the vaccine. COVID-19 Vaccines and Kids: What Pediatricians Are Saying – YouTube
- Watch Latinx leaders and children collaborate in song to promote 5+ vaccination: “LAS VACUNAS” (Canta con nosotros) – YouTube
- Testing—even if you do not have symptoms—is critical to curbing the spread and ensuring the only thing you bring to your holiday gathering is good cheer. Make a plan to get tested with enough time to receive your results prior to your gatherings. If you test positive, stay home.
- Order your At-Home test NOW! Tests through Minnesota’s At-Home program are free and shipped right to your door. Order now so you have them in plenty of time to take your test, send it back, and receive your results before you gather with family and friends. If you have a test already, this holiday season is the time to use it!
- The state’s at-home saliva test kits typically ship within a day of receiving the order. Shipping and delivery does not happen on Sundays or holidays. Once shipped, samples reach the lab within approximately 24 hours, depending on where you live. Once the lab receives the sample, the patient receives an email or message to their testing account, which they create when taking the test. After that, patients can expect to receive their results via email or their testing account within about 24-48 hours.
- Minnesotans have numerous testing options at their fingertips. They can make an appointment at one of the 21 state-run testing sites or find an appointment here. They can also walk in to a state site, but making an appointment is strongly encouraged as many Minnesotans are getting tested this time of year.
- In partnership with the state, 16 Local Public Health agencies are providing testing opportunities for their communities in December.
- In addition to the state-run testing sites, the state is working with COVID-19 Community Coordinators (CCCs) to host four neighborhood testing opportunities.
- In advance of the holidays, Governor Walz has secured an additional one million over-the-counter BD Veritor At-Home rapid test kits for schools and child care providers to distribute directly to Minnesota families.
- BD Veritor At-Home is the sixth overall test – and second rapid test – the state has made accessible to schools and families. The test is an individual rapid antigen test, and Minnesota expects to receive all one million tests before the end of the year.
- All adults 18 and older should get a booster when they are due: six months after receiving Pfizer and Moderna, and two months after Johnson & Johnson.
- People 16 and 17 years of age should get a single booster dose of Pfizer at least six months after completion of primary vaccination with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.
- Minnesota is now offering boosters at the state’s Mall of America vaccine site as well as other state-run and state-hosted 5- to 11-year-old vaccine clinics, including those hosted at schools.
- Roughly 35 state school-based vaccination clinics for ages 5-11 will begin offering booster shots to parents of children receiving their first or second dose in December and the first week of January. Additional 5-11 vaccine clinics will begin offering boosters as planning continues.
- COVID-19 vaccines are effective, especially at preventing serious illness and death. Additionally, evidence is increasingly clear that boosters for all adults, given at the appropriate time after your primary vaccination series, can help extend the protection and keep it at a high level.
- Minnesota is a national leader in boosters and ranks second in the country for percent of fully vaccinated people with booster doses, trailing only Vermont. According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 35% of fully vaccinated Minnesota adults have received boosters, and providers across the state have administered more than 1.1 million booster and third doses.
- Find your booster anywhere vaccines are offered. Your booster dose does not have to be the same brand of vaccine as your initial series. Visit mn.gov/vaccine or contact a provider to get your booster.