Protect Yourself & Others: COVID-19 - Minnesota Dept. of Health
As we learn more about COVID-19, recommendations and guidance are updated frequently. Please check back often.

Protect Yourself & Others: COVID-19

Updated 8/10/21

On this page:
Slow the spread
Prepare at home
People at increased risk
Other resources

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.

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

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.

Gatherings guidance

  • 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

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:

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.

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:


Masks are required 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. 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 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:

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 more information, visit CDC: Requirement for Proof of Negative COVID-19 Test or Recovery from COVID-19 for All Air Passengers Arriving in the United States.

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.

Other resources

Mental Health and Well-being
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.

Updated Wednesday, 11-Aug-2021 11:42:25 CDT