MARCH 14, 2020 – Minnesota is adopting community-level strategies recommended by Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) to help slow the spread of coronavirus. The goal: Make person-to-person transmission less likely by reducing close-contact interactions – people within 6 feet of each other for 10 minutes or more.
The virus that causes COVID-19 is spread primarily by respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how influenza spreads. It can also spread when people touch contaminated surfaces and then touch their eyes, nose or mouth.
MDH recommends postponing and canceling:
Large events where 250 people or more would gather, including:
- Professional, college, and school performances or sporting events
Smaller events (fewer than 250 people) held in crowded auditoriums, rooms, or other venues that do not allow social distancing of 6 feet per person.
Events with more than 10 people where the majority of participants are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19, including gatherings at:
- Retirement facilities
- Assisted living facilities
- Developmental homes
- Support groups for people with health conditions
Shopping for groceries is not affected, although it’s a good idea to limit close contact while shopping. Do not go to the store if you’re sick. Ask someone to shop for you.
MDH’s recommendations don’t apply to normal operations of airports, bus and train stations, medical facilities, libraries, shopping malls and centers, or other spaces where 100 or more people may be in transit. Even so, people in high-risk categories – the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions – should consider limiting such activities.
Individuals and families at home should:
- Put your household plan into action: Stock a 2-week supply of food, plus prescription medications
- Keep social distance from others in public
- Wash your hands frequently, especially when in public spaces
- Individuals with underlying medical conditions should consider staying at home and avoiding gatherings or other situations of potential exposures, including travel.
- Have a communication plan with family, friends, co-workers
- Have a plan for childcare needs and working from home
More information can be found on MDH’s Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) website.
MDH has a COVID-19 public hotline, open 7:00 am to 7:00 pm: 651-201-3920.