Minnesota News and Outreach
Over 2 million vaccine doses administered
March 26, 2021
Over 2.25 million COVID-19 vaccines have been administered to Minnesotans! There’s still a long way to go, but Minnesota is committed to building a reliable network of options for everyone to get their shot.
For vaccine data, vaccine locations, or to sign up for the Vaccine Connector, visit COVID-19 Vaccinations.
Variants are common with a virus like COVID-19. Viruses constantly change through mutation, and new variants of a virus are expected to occur over time.
Multiple COVID-19 variants are circulating globally. Variants first detected in the United Kingdom (B.1.1.7), Brazil (P.1), and South Africa (B.1.351) have been detected in the United States. All three variants have been identified in Minnesota. MDH and our partners are actively testing new positive test samples to continue to detect variants and learn more.
So far, the B.1.1.7 variant has been the most common in Minnesota. Early data shows that the B.1.1.7 variant spreads more easily and can be as much as 50% more contagious than the original virus. There is also concern the B.1.1.7 variant may be associated with more severe disease compared to other variants. More research is needed to confirm these findings and what it will mean for vaccination efforts. For more information, visit CDC: Variants of the Virus that Causes COVID-19.
As encouraging as the vaccination numbers are, we need to remember that we have a state population of 5.5 million and most Minnesotans are not yet fully vaccinated. Millions of Minnesotans are still susceptible to COVID-19 infection and the health impacts that can go with it. Continue to take steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19: 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.
Because variants can spread more easily, it is important to get tested. Families with school-age children returning to in-person learning should get tested every two weeks. Kids involved in sports or after-school activities should get tested once a week: COVID-19 Testing for Kids and Families.
New community vaccination sites
As part of the State of Minnesota’s COVID-19 Community Vaccination Program, Governor Walz announced a new community vaccination site at Mayo Clinic Health System Event Center in Mankato. The Moderna vaccine will be administered to currently eligible Minnesotans, including frontline workers. This large-scale, permanent site will join sites in Minneapolis, Duluth, Rochester, Bloomington, St. Paul and St. Cloud.
Governor Walz also announced two temporary vaccination events in Marshall at the MERIT Center and Worthington at the Worthington Event Center. Vaccine will be administered at these events to currently eligible Minnesotans, including frontline workers in food processing and agriculture this week.
Minnesotans who have not received a vaccine should sign up for the Minnesota COVID-19 Vaccine Connector, which will notify users about vaccine opportunities near them. Users currently eligible for the vaccine may be randomly selected for an appointment at a Community Vaccination Program location. Minnesotans may be contacted directly if they can make an appointment.
Recommendations for fully vaccinated people
It is up to all of us to protect ourselves and others by getting vaccinated and following recommendations to slow the spread of COVID-19. Even if you are fully vaccinated (2 weeks after your final dose), it is important to follow precautions:
• Continue to wear a mask that fits well and stay at least 6 feet away from other people whenever you are:
o In public.
o Visiting with unvaccinated people from multiple households.
• Wash your hands often.
• Stay home if you are sick, especially if you have been around someone who has COVID-19. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should get tested.
• Avoid crowds and poorly-ventilated spaces.
• Delay unnecessary domestic or international travel. If you do travel, you’ll still need to follow CDC requirements and recommendations.
• Follow guidance specific to your workplace.
For more recommendations on gatherings and quarantine, visit About COVID-19 Vaccine: For fully vaccinated people.
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 Minnesota Story of Resiliency and Power: Black Nurses Rock
In January 2020, Kelly Robinson founded the Minnesota chapter of Black Nurses Rock, Inc., a national organization established in 2014 focused on supporting Black nurses.
Then, the COVID-19 pandemic began, and many aspects of our lives came to a standstill. Nevertheless, Robinson knew that Black Nurses Rock’s mission to inspire, empower, and educate the community was more essential than ever during this time. Robinson and her team of nurses partnered with the City of Minneapolis to pass out 4,000 masks and 500 bottles of hand sanitizer at community grassroots events.
Black Nurses Rock were the official COVID-19 testers for community testing events hosted by Stairstep Foundation, a trusted organization in the African American community. Robinson and her team continue to help implement a vaccination program for Minnesotans 65 and older and K-12 educators and prioritized building trust and addressing vaccine hesitancy with community members.
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.