COVID-19

Coronavirus outbreak and coronaviruses influenza background as dangerous flu strain cases as a pandemic medical health risk concept with disease cells as a 3D render

Current Daily Update New Cases:

January 26th COVID-19 Update: There are no new cases to report in Pennington County or Red Lake County. Minnesota’s daily situation update can be found at https://www.health.state.mn.us/…/coronav…/situation.html

Testing Sites & Information

Click on the links below to find a testing site/date near you:

Current Vaccine Information

There continues to be a very limited supply of COVID-19 vaccine in Minnesota. Despite promises from the federal government, Minnesota has not yet received an increase in vaccine dose supply. We encourage Minnesotans to remain patient as more vaccine arrives in the weeks and months ahead.

Vaccine is available by appointment only. Walk-ins will not be accepted. Please do not visit a health care provider or vaccination pilot site unless you have a scheduled appointment.

Eligibility

People in the following groups are currently eligible to make appointments for the COVID-19 vaccine:

  • Minnesotans aged 65 and over
  • Pre-k through grade 12 educators
  • Child care workers

If you are an educator or child care worker, please do not attempt to make an appointment unless you are notified by your employer that you’ve been selected to receive a vaccine. Child care programs and schools will work directly with employees to get an appointment through the state-sponsored appointment scheduling portal. Due to the limited supply of vaccine, schools will prioritize employees based on face-to-face interaction with children, and child care providers will use a random selection process.

While Minnesota is expanding those eligible for a vaccine, we continue to serve healthcare workers and certain congregate care residents and staff in Phase 1a. These people can still plan on receiving the vaccine through their workplace, care facility, or local public health. 

Scheduling an appointment

If you prefer to get your vaccine at your regular health care provider, you do not need to contact them at this time. They will soon be reaching out to all eligible Minnesotans to schedule appointments for vaccination. 

There are a very limited number of doses and appointments. Please do not attempt to schedule an appointment at a pilot site unless one of the following applies to you:

  1. You are 65 years or older; or,
  2. You are an educator or child care worker, and you have been notified by your employer that you have been selected to receive a vaccine. 

NEW! We are now using a random selection process for appointments at our pilot community vaccination sites. In order to be considered for an appointment for a vaccine, Minnesotans aged 65 and older must first complete the pre-registration using our online portal or by calling toll free at 833-431-2053. 

  • The online portal will be available for pre-registration for 24 hours, starting on Tuesday, January 26 at 5:00 a.m. During these hours, a link to access the online portal will be live and available on this link https://mn.gov/covid19/vaccine/find-vaccine/index.jsp.
  • The call center will be open on Tuesday, January 26 from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. for pre-registration. Due to high demand for vaccine appointments, we encourage Minnesotans to use the online portal if at all possible. If the call center line is busy, try calling again later. 

You can complete your pre-registration online or by phone at any time during the above available hours. The random selection process is NOT first come, first serve. Signing up for the pre-registration list means you will have a chance to be randomly selected, so you do not have to register right away. Anyone who is on the pre-registration list at the time of random selection will have the opportunity to be chosen to make an appointment for a vaccine. 

Everyone who is currently on the waitlist from the first week will be automatically pre-registered to be randomly selected for an appointment.

If you are randomly selected to receive a vaccine this week, you will be notified on Wednesday, January 27 by text, email, or phone with instructions on how to finalize your appointment. If you elect to receive a phone call, please be certain to answer your phone as, due to time constraints in filling appointments, reservationists will make ONLY two contact attempts. If you are selected and cannot use your appointment, another Minnesotan on the pre-registration list will be randomly selected for that appointment.

If you are selected to make an appointment, you will be able to get your vaccine at one of nine pilot sites, located in the following communities: Blaine, Brooklyn Center, Fergus Falls, Marshall, Mountain Iron, North Mankato, Rochester, St. Cloud, and Thief River Falls. (NOTE: The pilot clinic operating in Andover last week has relocated to Blaine this week.) Please be patient and remember that until the federal government provides more vaccine, there will not be enough doses for all who want one. More opportunities for vaccination will be coming as we get more vaccine.

If you are an education or childcare professional and you received notification from your employer that you were selected to receive a vaccination, please follow the instructions you were provided to make an appointment online.

Inter-county Nursing Services is not coordinating this pilot event and are unable to help with registration. We will try to keep you updated on the current updates but are not able to help you sign up. If you have questions please contact the Minnesota Department of Health. Thanks!

What to expect at the appointment

  • Do not arrive for your appointment any earlier than 15 minutes. This is to ensure social distancing.
  • You will not be asked for insurance information. The COVID-19 vaccine is being provided at no cost.  
  • Educators and child care workers will need to show the same license or employee ID they provided when making their appointment. A paystub is also acceptable.
  • Plan to sit for 15 minutes of observation after you receive your vaccine. If you have allergies, you will need to sit for 30 minutes. 

See What to Expect After Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine (PDF) for more information.

See Below For More Vaccine Information

About COVID-19

  • COVID-19 is an infectious disease.
  • The disease is caused by a coronavirus not found in people before.
  • As doctors and scientists continue to gather new information, it is important to take COVID-19 seriously. We do not yet know all of the negative effects it may have.
  • It is important to keep working to slow the spread of the virus by staying home when you can, staying 6 feet away from others, wearing a mask, covering your coughs and sneezes, and washing your hands often and well.
  • For more information on symptoms, see CDC: Symptoms of Coronavirus.

Symptoms

  • Symptoms of COVID-19 can include fever, cough, shortness of breath, chills, headache, muscle pain, sore throat, fatigue, congestion, or loss of taste or smell. Other less common symptoms include gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.
  • These symptoms may appear 2-14 days after you are exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19.
  • Not everyone with COVID-19 has all of these symptoms, and some people may not have any symptoms.
  • Even after recovering from COVID-19, some people may have lingering symptoms such as fatigue, cough, or joint pain. The long-term health effects are still unknown but there may be permanent damage to the heart, lungs, or other organs. This is more likely in those who had more severe illness but may also be possible even in those who had mild illness.
  • Talk to your health care provider if you have questions or concerns about symptoms.

How It Spreads

  • People can spread the COVID-19 disease to each other.
  • The disease spreads by droplets or aerosols (tiny particles) from the nose and mouth when someone who is infected coughs, sneezes, or exhales.
  • The most common way COVID-19 spreads is through close contact. When people are close to each other, the droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people nearby. It may be possible for people to breathe the droplets into their lungs. It is important to stay at least 6 feet away from other people in public. At home, someone who is sick should stay alone and in one room as much as possible.
  • COVID-19 can also sometimes spread through airborne transmission. This means that aerosols (small droplets or particles) can sometimes linger in the air for minutes to hours, and may be able to infect people who are further than 6 feet from the person with COVID-19 or after they have left the room.Airborne transmission of COVID-19 is more likely to happen in indoor spaces without good ventilation, or when the infected person was breathing heavily, like when singing or exercising.
  • It is possible that COVID-19 can spread when droplets land on surfaces and objects that other people then touch, though this is not thought to be a common way that it spreads. It is important to wash your hands before you touch your mouth, nose, face, or eyes. Clean surfaces that are touched often, especially if someone in the house is sick.
  • Infected people may be able to spread the disease before they have symptoms or feel sick.
  • A person can also spread the disease if they have no symptoms. Research has shown that around 40-50% of people infected do not develop symptoms.

What Is A Close Contact

In general, a close contact means being less than 6 feet from someone for 15 minutes or more throughout a 24-hour period. However, even shorter periods of time or longer distances can result in spread of the virus. The longer someone is close to the person who has COVID-19, and the closer they are, the greater the chance the virus can spread.

  • If you have close contact with someone who has been told by a doctor, clinic or hospital that they have COVID-19:
    • Watch yourself for symptoms for 14 days.
    • Stay home.
    • Wash your hands often.
    • Clean surfaces you touch.

How to Quarantine:

If you had close contact with a person with COVID-19 (an exposure), you need to stay home and away from others (quarantine). COVID-19 can take up to 14 days to make you sick, and some people with COVID-19 never feel sick, so you need to separate yourself from others so you don’t spread the virus without knowing it.

You should stay away from others for 14 days if:

  • Someone in your home has COVID-19.
  • You live in a building with other people, where it’s hard to stay away from others and easy to spread the virus to multiple people, like a long-term care facility.

You may consider being around others after 10 days if:

  • You do not have any symptoms.
  • You have not had a positive test for COVID-19.
  • No one in your home has COVID-19, and you do not live in a building with other people, where it’s hard to stay away from others and easy to spread the virus to multiple people, like a long-term care facility.

Even after 10 days you must still:

  • Watch for symptoms through day 14. If you have any symptoms, stay home, separate yourself from others, and get tested right away.
  • Continue to wear a mask and stay at least 6 feet away from other people.

You may consider being around others after seven days only if:

  • You get tested for COVID-19 at least five full days after you had close contact with someone with COVID-19, and the test is negative. You must get a negative PCR test, not an antigen test or antibody/blood test. Learn more about the differences at Types of COVID-19 Tests.
  • You do not have any symptoms.
  • You have not had a positive test for COVID-19.
  • No one in your home has COVID-19, and you do not live in a building with other people, where it’s hard to stay away from others and easy to spread the virus to multiple people, like a long-term care facility.

Even after seven days you must still:

  • Watch for symptoms through day 14. If you have any symptoms, stay home, separate yourself from others, and get tested right away.
  • Continue to wear a mask and stay at least 6 feet away from other people.
  • You cannot end your quarantine before 7 days for any reason.

CDC When to Quarantine link listed below:

https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/contact.html

If You Are Diagnosed With COVID-19

  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • If you are older or have certain underlying medical conditions, it is helpful to let your health care provider know you are sick. They may have specific advice for you.
  • Seek medical care right away if your symptoms get worse or you have difficulty breathing. Before going to the doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them your symptoms. They will tell you what to do.
  • What to do if you have COVID-19 (PDF)

Severity

  • Many people with COVID-19 have mild illness. However, anyone can become severely ill from this virus.
  • Risk for severe illness increases with age. For example, people in their 50s are at higher risk for severe illness than people in their 40s. Similarly, people in their 60s or 70s are, in general, at higher risk for severe illness than people in their 50s. The greatest risk for severe illness from COVID-19 is among people 85 or older.
  • People of any age who have underlying medical conditions may have a greater risk of getting very sick from COVID-19.
  • See CDC: People at Increased Risk for guidance on which underlying medical conditions put people at an increased risk or who should be extra careful.
  • Ask your health care provider if you have greater risk of getting sicker from COVID-19.
  • For more information, see:

Prevention & Treatment

  • COVID-19 has no known cures or vaccines at this time, but several COVID-19 vaccines are in development. For more information, see COVID-19 Vaccine.
  • Most people with COVID-19 have mild symptoms and are often able to recover at home with rest, liquids, and over the counter medication. If your symptoms get worse, call your clinic or an emergency room before you go.
  • If You Are Sick: COVID-19
    What to do if you are sick and information on going to the doctor.
  • Protect Yourself & Others: COVID-19
    How to slow the spread, including information on masks and cloth face coverings and cleaning your home.

Physical Health Effects

Other health effects

  • COVID-19 disease can cause more than physical health problems. COVID-19 is a continuing threat to the personal, financial, and mental well-being of Minnesotans. This stress can lead to health problems. COVID-19 can cause stress when people:
    • Must be in the hospital.
    • Lose their jobs or cannot go to work.
    • Do not have money to pay bills.
    • Are separated from family and friends.

Mental Health & COVID-19

Vaccine Update

When Will A Vaccine Be Available

  • Several COVID-19 vaccines are in development. There is 2 Covid-19 vaccines approved by the FDA. A Covid-19 vaccine is only one way to stop the spread of the virus. Healthcare frontline workers will be start to be vaccinated the last few weeks in December 2020. The supply of the vaccine will be limited at first so doing other things like wearing a facemask, staying 6 feet away from others, washing your hands a lot, and staying home if your sick will help slow the spread. Doing those things can help keep people healthy until a vaccine is widely available.

Who will be able to get vaccinated

In the United States alone we need to vaccinate hundreds of millions of people, so it will be a long process to make, distribute, and give that many doses of vaccine. Below is a preliminary list of groups of people in order who will get the vaccine (is subject to change):

A More In Depth Chart as follows…

Phases1
Essential Workers
2
Essential workers* (non-health care)
3
Persons aged ≥65 years
4
Persons aged ≥65 years
Allocation within Phase 1 of the COVID-19 vaccination program (post Phase 1a)Frontline Healthcare Workers,
Long-term Care residence
Phase 1b – Frontline essential workers: first responders (e.g.,  firefighters and police  officers), corrections officers, food and agricultural workers, U.S. Postal Service workers, manufacturing workers, grocery store workers, public transit workers, and those who work in the education sector (teachers and support staff members) as well as child care workers.
Phase 1c – All other essential workers: workers in transportation and logistics, water and wastewater, food service, shelter and housing (e.g., construction), finance (e.g., bank tellers), information technology and communications, energy, legal, media, and public safety (e.g., engineers), and public health workers.
Phase 1b – Persons aged ≥75 years
Phase 1c – Persons aged 65-74 years
Phase 1c – Persons aged 16-64 years with medical conditions that increase the risk for severe COVID-19§
CDC Evidence Table

MDH has brought together a COVID-19 vaccine allocation advisory group to help us make sure we are fairly and strategically making decisions for how vaccine should be distributed. The advisory group is made up of external partners who represent key populations in the state, such as local public health, long-term care, pharmacy partners, diverse communities, and more.

How Will We Know If The Vaccine Is Safe

Having a safe and effective vaccine is the top priority. We all want a safe and effective vaccine as soon as possible. Approving vaccines as safe, and making sure they work, is up to several scientific groups at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices and other groups look at available information about a vaccine and make informed decisions about the risks and benefits of using it. MDH is committed to making vaccine available once we are confident that it is safe and effective.

Is The Vaccine Being Studied in Children or Pregnant Women?

The first vaccine studies are usually done with groups that are at highest risk for the disease, or who will get very sick if they get the disease. Then the studies are expanded to other groups such as pregnant people and people who are immunocompromised (cannot easily fight off a disease). For COVID-19 vaccine, studies focused on non-pregnant adults ages 18 years and older at first. Vaccine manufacturers have likely started expanding to pregnant people and some children as they get more data from the first part of their studies. The first COVID-19 vaccines will not be able to be given to children.

Why We Need A Covid-19 Vaccine?

Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 will be one of the best ways to protect yourself and everyone around you. The more people who get vaccinated against COVID-19, the better it is for everyone. More people vaccinated means that there will be less disease in our communities. Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is one of the most important steps to protect yourself and your community. By stopping the spread of COVID-19, we can keep businesses, schools, and other venues open. Stopping the spread of COVID-19 gets us closer to the end of the pandemic.

Will Covid-19 Vaccine Be Required?

Minnesota will not require COVID-19 vaccines. The COVID-19 vaccine has been approved for use under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). You have the right to refuse or accept the COVID-19 vaccine, as stated in the EUA fact sheet: Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine EUA Fact Sheet for Recipients and Caregivers. We strongly encourage you to get the COVID-19 vaccine if it is available to you. Getting the COVID-19 vaccine will help protect you and your family, coworkers, residents, patients, and community.

What Will The Covid-19 Vaccination Cost Me?

COVID-19 vaccine will be provided to people at no cost.

How Many Doses Of Covid-19 Will Be Needed?

Two doses will be needed for at least the first two COVID-19 vaccines. The doses will need to be given 3 or 4 weeks apart, depending on the product being used. As time goes on, we will also have to evaluate whether future doses would be needed, like needing to get a tetanus shot every 10 years or getting a flu shot every year.

Moderna Vaccine Ingredients

  • 1.93 mg (SM-102, polyethylene glycol [PEG] 2000 dimyristoyl glycerol [DMG], cholesterol, and 1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine [DSPC])
  • SM-102 (Proprietary to Moderna)
  • 0.31 mg Tromethamine
  • 1.18 mg Tromethamine hydrochloride
  • 0.043 mg Acetic acid
  • 0.12 mg Sodium acetate
  • 43.5 mg Sucrose

Other Vaccine Information

For local clinics/patient care business who have questions about receiving the vaccination please call your local public health office for more information.

  • Phone Number: 218-681-0876
  • Hours: Monday-Friday 8am-4:30pm

For more details on the vaccine click on the links below:

Links

References