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Minnesota News and Outreach – March 18, 2021


March 18, 2021

Minnesota News and Outreach

Executive Order 21-11

Executive Order 21-11 went into effect Monday, March 15, 2021, at 12 p.m. and does not have an end date. Executive Order 21-11 takes steps to further reopen Minnesota's economy safely.

Social gatherings:

• Limit indoor social gatherings to no more than 15 people total.

• Limit outdoor social gatherings to no more than 50 people total.

Restaurants and bars:

• Indoor dining: 75% capacity, 250 people max.

• Outdoor dining: 250 people max. 6 feet must be maintained between parties at different tables.

• Table size must be limited to six people. Bar seating is open to parties of four. All patrons must be seated.

Gyms, fitness centers, yoga studios, etc. are open at 50% capacity, 250 people max.

Pools are open at 50% capacity, 250 people max. 6 feet of social distancing is required.

Organized sports practices and games are allowed with limited spectators according to appropriate venue capacity restrictions.

Salons and barbers are open at 100% capacity. Social distancing and masks required.

Places of worship, religious services, weddings, and funerals are open at 100% capacity. Social distancing and masks required.

Private celebrations, including receptions related to weddings and funerals:

• Limited to 50% of the venue's normal capacity, up to 250 people.

• Table size is limited to six, and guests must be seated while eating and drinking.

Beginning April 1, larger venues, restaurants, bars, gyms, pools, and other settings may exceed 250 people per applicable percentage limits and guidance.

Beginning April 15, the requirement to work from home shifts to a strong recommendation. Employers are strongly encouraged to allow employees who can work from home to continue and to implement reasonable accommodations for at-risk employees, or employees with one or more members of their household who have underlying medical conditions and are not yet eligible for vaccination.

Learn more at Minnesota's Stay Safe Plan: Taking the next steps and Stay Safe MN.


St. Cloud Community Vaccination Site

As part of the State of Minnesota's COVID-19 Community Vaccination Program, Governor Walz announced a new community vaccination site to launch this week at River's Edge Convention Center in St. Cloud.

This large-scale, permanent site will join sites in Minneapolis, Duluth, Rochester, Bloomington, and St. Paul.

In its first week, vaccinations will be offered to people in all groups currently eligible for vaccines in Minnesota, including 1b frontline workers.

Minnesotans will be contacted directly if selected to sign up for vaccine appointments.


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.

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

Long-term Care Guidance

We updated our guidance for Minnesota long-term care facilities, including nursing homes and assisted-living-type facilities, following the March 10 update from the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

This is an important next step for the overall health and well-being of our long-term care residents. Minnesota's focus on vaccinating our long-term care residents now allows residents who are vaccinated to travel and go out for activities, visits, and worship without having to quarantine upon returning home.

The updated guidance includes the following recommendations related to outings:

• Residents who are fully vaccinated do not have to quarantine after non-medically necessary outings unless they spend 15 minutes or more in a 24-hour period within 6 feet of someone who can spread COVID-19.

• Residents who are fully vaccinated may gather indoors or outdoors with other people who are fully vaccinated.

• Residents who are fully vaccinated can visit indoors or outdoors with unvaccinated people from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 infection.

• If the resident is fully vaccinated, they can choose to have close contact (including touch) with the people they are visiting.

• If a resident who is fully vaccinated chooses to attend a place of worship or other group event, or to shop or eat in public establishments, the resident should follow the core principles of COVID-19 infection prevention. MDH strongly encourages attending places of worship or other group events only when the 14-day county percent positivity rate is below 5%.

• Unvaccinated residents who leave the building to gather with others may be required to quarantine when they return. At this time, quarantine recommendations remain unchanged for an unvaccinated resident, regardless of the vaccination status of those with whom they gather.

The updated guidance includes the following recommendations related to facility visits:

• Residents should be able to have private visits.

• If a resident is fully vaccinated, they can choose to have close contact (including touch) with their visitor while wearing a well-fitted facemask (if tolerated) and performing hand hygiene before and after.

• While taking a person-centered approach, outdoor visitation is preferred even when the resident and visitor are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, because outdoor visits generally pose a lower risk of spreading the disease. Visits should be held outdoors whenever feasible.

• Compassionate care visits, essential caregivers, and visits required under state and federal disability rights laws should be allowed at all times, regardless of a resident's vaccination status, the county's COVID-19 positivity rate, or an outbreak.

• Facilities in medium or high positivity counties are encouraged to offer testing to visitors as feasible. Visitors should also be encouraged to get vaccinated when they have the opportunity. While visitor testing and vaccination can help prevent the spread of COVID-19, neither testing nor vaccination should be required of visitors as a condition of visitation, nor should proof of such be requested.

• Screening questions must now include whether the visitor has had close contact in the prior 14 days with someone who is infected with COVID-19 (regardless of whether the visitor is vaccinated). If the visitor answers yes, the visitor should not be allowed to enter.

• Vaccinations and the slowing of coronavirus infections are allowing us to safely expand visitation and allow indoor visits that bring families and residents together. Minnesotans can help continue the positive momentum by taking the right steps to prevent spread of COVID-19. These include masking up, keeping social distance, staying home when sick, and getting tested when appropriate.

Long-term Care: Visitors and outside services

• Long-term Care Guidance for Non-medically Necessary Outings

• COVID-19 Guidance: Long-term Care Indoor Visitation for Nursing Facilities and Assisted Living-type Settings

• Long-term Care Visitation Guidance Flowchart for Outbreak Status

• Long-term Care Visitation Guidance Flowchart for Exceptions

CDC: Updated Healthcare Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations in Response to COVID-19 Vaccination

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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