Minnesota News and Outreach
COVID-19 Community Mobile Vaccination Bus Project
April 23, 2021
The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, Metro Transit, the Metropolitan Council, and Minnesota Department of Transportation are partnering to bring mobile COVID-19 vaccination clinics to communities throughout the state of Minnesota. Metro Transit turned underutilized transit buses into mobile vaccination clinics by removing seating and installing new equipment.
Two mobile vaccination units will begin offering clinics this week and will scale up to six buses by the summer.
• All COVID-19 vaccine is free.
• IDs, proof of citizenship, and insurance are not required.
• The buses are ADA accessible.
• Each bus is prepared to vaccinate around 100 people each day, depending on travel time.
The mobile vaccination units are a highly-targeted vaccine distribution strategy, intended to bring vaccines to people who would otherwise have a hard time getting vaccinated due to barriers, including transportation, technology, and geographic barriers.
We are using state demographic data, vaccination data, testing data, and input from trusted community partners, local public health, and MDH equity leadership to select locations. In addition, community partners can fill out an online form to request a mobile vaccine unit. A request does not guarantee a visit from a mobile unit.
For more information, visit COVID-19 Community Mobile Vaccination Bus Project.
Vaccine Outreach Campaign: Manufacturing Workers
As a part of the statewide "Roll Up Your Sleeves, Minnesota" campaign, Governor Walz is highlighting the state's outreach efforts focused on connecting manufacturing workers with the resources they need to get vaccinated. The campaign kicked off with food service industry employees and in the coming weeks, workers in other priority frontline sectors will be vaccinated at community vaccination sites.
To keep Minnesota's economy afloat over the past year and produce the goods Minnesotans and Americans rely on - including personal protective equipment (PPE) - Minnesota's 8,270 manufacturing companies re-tooled assembly lines and work environments to create safer workplaces for their 324,000 collective employees.
To drive manufacturing workers to Sign Up for the Vaccine Connector and get vaccinated, Department of Agriculture Commissioner Thom Petersen traveled to Post Consumer Brands in Northfield to attend a Rice County Public Health vaccination pop-up at the food manufacturer's facility. Commissioner Grove also hosted a roundtable discussion with several manufacturing companies at Anderson Windows in Cottage Grove.
Guidance Updates for Schools and Sports
The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) issued updated guidance to support COVID-19 testing for students in middle and high school as well as any Minnesotans participating in organized sports.
The guidance comes as Minnesota is experiencing increased community spread of COVID-19 and an especially high circulation of variants. Health officials now estimate that 60% of all COVID-19 cases in Minnesota are associated with the B.1.1.7 variant, a more transmissible version of the virus that may be associated with more severe symptoms. Much of the spread of COVID-19 in recent weeks has been seen in younger Minnesotans, particularly among middle and high school.
Beginning on April 26, 2021, in order to keep our students learning in-person and continuing with sports, the state is increasing our testing efforts:
• All Minnesotans who are participating in organized sports are strongly encouraged to test every week.
• Every student in middle and high school, regardless of participation in activities, is strongly encouraged to get a COVID test every two weeks.
• Schools have a key role to play by helping make testing more accessible to all of our students and their families by promoting testing opportunities in their communities and strongly encouraged to offer onsite testing for middle and high school students.
The state will provide free COVID-19 saliva test kits for any middle school, high school and organized sports team through the state's partnership with Vault Health.
• Questions and Answers: COVID-19 Testing for Middle and High School Students (PDF)
• COVID-19 Saliva Testing for Students and School Staff: Program Guide for Coordinators (PDF)
• COVID-19 Testing for Minnesota Organized Sports Participants (PDF)
Outdoor sports face covering requirements and recommendations have also been updated.
• Requirement: Face coverings are required to be worn when sports participants are not actively practicing or playing and cannot maintain physical distancing.
• Recommendation: Participants are strongly recommended to either wear a face covering at all times (including while actively practicing or playing) or test all participants weekly for COVID-19.
Face coverings must continue to be worn at all times for indoor sports.
• COVID-19 Organized Sports Practice and Games Guidance for Youth and Adults (PDF)
• COVID-19 Intercollegiate Sports Guidance for Higher Education (PDF)
COVID-19 Community Testing Site Changes
St. Paul: Roy Wilkins Exhibition Hall
No testing: April 27-May 2 & May 6
Hibbing and Chisholm Armory
The Hibbing Armory community testing site is relocating to the Chisholm Armory at 900 W Lake Street. The last day of testing at the Hibbing site is today, April 22. Testing at the Chisholm site will begin on April 28.
St. Cloud: River's Edge Convention Center
No testing: May 24-28
Visit COVID-19 Community Testing Sites to find other locations or schedule an appointment. Order an at-home saliva test at no cost: COVID-19 Test at Home.
Record of Vaccination
You should receive a card when you get your COVID-19 vaccine that has the vaccine product you got and the date you were vaccinated.
• Hold on to your vaccine card between shots (if you got a two-dose vaccine) and after you are fully vaccinated. Bring the card with you to your second appointment so that both doses can be recorded on the same card.
o Keep your card in a safe place with your other records.
o Take a picture of your card on your phone.
• It is okay if you lose your card. If you lose it in-between shots, ask for a new one when you get your second dose and ask them to record the first dose on it.
• If you lose your vaccine card after you are fully vaccinated, you can request your vaccination record at Find My Immunization Record.
• We do not yet know if someone will need to show proof of vaccination for events such as traveling, concerts, or other activities. CDC has issued new guidance on traveling for fully vaccinated people, but does not state any requirements for showing proof of vaccination: When You've Been Fully Vaccinated.