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Minnesota News and Outreach - COVID-19 vaccine update – January 13, 2021


January 14, 2021

Minnesota is aware of media reports from yesterday (Jan. 12) that the federal government has changed their guidance on vaccine distribution to include people 65 and older and those 18-64 with underlying conditions that make them more susceptible to complications from COVID-19. We are waiting for more details and guidelines from the federal government on these reports.

At this point no additional vaccine doses have been made available for Minnesota. Until there are more details about how much vaccine Minnesota will receive and when it will arrive, the State continues to distribute the extremely limited vaccine supply allocated each week. Our focus continues to be immunizing for impact – targeting those most at risk of contracting COVID-19 and those most at risks of serious complications if they get it.

If the vaccine supply increases in the near term, we are ready for it. We have been planning for vaccines to be more broadly available for months. The next group most likely will include people whose age puts them at higher risk for serious health complications if they contract COVID-19. The changes we’ve heard about from the federal government are consistent with our thinking and planning.

As we learn more, we will work to make sure everyone who is eligible for a vaccine knows how, where, and when they can get their shots. Everyone’s opportunity to get vaccinated will come; it will just take some time.

Learn more at COVID-19 Vaccine.

Check out the new Minnesota COVID-19 Vaccine Data dashboard.

COVID-19 vaccine

COVID-19 variant found in Minnesota

The new variant strain of the SARS-CoV-2 virus first detected in the United Kingdom was identified by genomic sequencing in positive specimens from five residents of four different counties in the Twin Cities metro area. Four of the cases were identified through the MDH Public Health Laboratory, and one was identified through CDC.

Early indications are that the new variants may spread more easily, but there is no sign yet that they are any different in terms of how sick people can get and how they affect any particular person. The variant strain had been found in other states in the U.S., so we were expecting to find the virus in Minnesota. Knowing that it is now here does not change our current public health recommendations. Continue to take steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19. It is important to wear a mask, stay 6 feet from others, avoid gatherings, wash your hands often, and stay home if you feel sick or have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19.

Read the news release at COVID-19 variant found in Minnesota or learn more at About COVID-19: COVID-19 variants.

Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Materials

We are adding new videos, print materials, and translated documents often. Check out the pages below to view, download, or print these resources.

COVID-19 Translated Materials

Materials and Resources for COVID-19 Response

Videos for COVID-19 Response

The situation is changing rapidly. Visit Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) for the most up-to-date information and follow MDH on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram to stay informed.

What's New

Online contact tracing survey pilot program

Starting Jan. 11, 2021, Hennepin County residents will have the option to answer contact tracing questions in an online case investigation survey. The survey option lets people who have tested positive give this information online instead of waiting for a phone call. It asks the same questions and gives the same information as the phone interview.

People who test positive and gave a phone number when they got tested will get a text message with instructions for filling out the survey online. You do not have to reply to the text message if you want a phone call instead. If you do not reply, a trained public health worker will call you to talk about how not to give the virus to others.

The online survey option will become available to all Minnesotans in the coming weeks.

For more information on the case investigation and contact tracing process, visit Contact Tracing COVID-19.

COVID-19 Contact Tracing

COVID-19 Stories of Community Outreach and Partnership

COVID-19 Stories of Community Outreach and Partnership highlight the efforts of our staff in collaboration with community partners during the COVID-19 response. Some stories provide insight into how this work is done, others discuss what challenges our teams face, but all of them recognize how COVID-19 has pushed MDH to try new strategies so we can fulfill our mission of protecting, maintaining, and improving the health of all Minnesotans.

A Peek into Community Testing: Equity, Partnership, and a Voice at the Table

When COVID-19 hit, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) set up an organizational structure called incident command system (ICS) dedicated to the COVID-19 emergency response. Part of the ICS structure includes community liaisons to help Minnesota communities hardest hit by COVID-19 access resources such as no-barrier COVID-19 community testing and culturally relevant, accurate information about COVID-19 from trusted sources.

The African American community liaisons realized quickly that their community needed COVID-19 testing at trusted community hubs, with tailored outreach. These no-barrier community testing events provide testing at no cost and do not ask for health insurance or identification.

drive-up COVID-19 testing

MDH partnered with Stairstep Foundation to host no-cost COVID-19 testing events at four different churches and prioritize community inclusion.

Read more:

A Peek into Community Testing: Equity, Partnership, and a Voice at the Table

Guidance and resources


About COVID-19: COVID-19 variants

Celebrate a Safer Holiday (PDF)

Mental Health and Resiliency Tools for Health Care Workers: Wellness Guide (PDF)


COVID-19 Test at Home

COVID-19 Community Testing

Contact Tracing COVID-19

COVID-19 Vaccine

Protect Yourself & Others: COVID-19 vaccine

Minnesota Guidance for Allocating and Prioritizing COVID-19 Vaccine – Phase 1a (PDF)

Frequently Asked Questions About the Requirement to Wear Face Coverings

Safer Celebrations during COVID-19: Holidays and Other Gatherings

COVID-19 Stories of Community Outreach and Partnership

Music Activities and Performances During COVID-19 (PDF)

COVID-19 Intercollegiate Sports Guidance for Higher Education (PDF)

Managing COVID-19 in Licensed Group Homes (PDF)

Reporting Results of COVID-19 Tests Performed Inside Your Long-term Care Facility (PDF)

NOTE: As new Executive Orders and recommendations are issued, we will review and update the guidance and resources on our website accordingly. Look for an "Updated" date below guidance links to know when the resource was last revised.

Minnesota Helpline

For questions related to the COVID-19 pandemic

651-297-1304 or 1-800-657-3504

Monday-Friday: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.


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