Gov. Tim Walz has announced that Minnesota will remain focused on vaccinating most of the state’s seniors before expanding eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine. Walz issued guidance to vaccinate 70% of adults 65 years of age and older before expanding eligibility, and aims to reach this goal by the end of March.
The State has made tremendous progress in vaccinating our most vulnerable population. As of Thursday, Minnesota has vaccinated more than 43% of Minnesotans aged 65 and over. Severe illness and death in our long-term care settings have plummeted as we vaccinated these most at-risk Minnesotans: deaths are down 97% from their November peak, and cases are down 89%.
Once 70% of the state’s seniors have received the vaccine, Minnesota will expand eligibility based on underlying health conditions and workplace exposure risk. Based on current projections, the next group of Minnesotans eligible for a vaccine will begin getting them in April, and every Minnesotan should be able to get a vaccine by this summer.
Minneapolis unveils new vaccination web tool
The City of Minneapolis has developed a new web tool to help residents find information in multiple languages on the current status of the vaccination rollout, what to expect when getting the vaccine, and the safety of getting a vaccine.
The web tool includes:
- The up-to-date status of the phased vaccination rollout. It shows which groups of people are being vaccinated now and which groups are next.
- Detailed information about: the COVID-19 vaccines available, the safety of receiving the vaccine and what people need to know before, during and after a vaccine appointment.
- An acknowledgement of past trauma for those who have experienced discrimination in medicine and vaccinations. This web tool is one effort in the City’s commitment to ensure equity, justice and transparency in distributing the vaccinations.
- A form for community organizations and other groups to request a Minneapolis Health Department speaker to address common vaccine questions and concerns. The form is in four languages.
People should also check back for more web functions yet to be added, which could include a mapping tool to find vaccination locations and an interactive quiz to find out if they are eligible.
COVID-19 Vaccine Connector and vaccination resources
Minnesotans who have not yet been vaccinated are encouraged to sign up for the COVID-19 Vaccine Connector, regardless of their current vaccine eligibility status at mn.gov/vaccineconnector.
- English: Connect to your COVID-19 vaccine
- Spanish: Conéctese con su vacuna contra el COVID-19.
- Somali: Ku xidhnow tallaalkaaga COVID-19.
- Hmong: Tiv tauj koj koob tshuaj tiv thaiv COVID-19.
- Call 833-431-2053 to sign up over the phone or use an interpreter.
When you become eligible to receive a vaccine, the Vaccine Connector will alert you, help you schedule an appointment and notify you if there are vaccination opportunities in your area.
Free COVID-19 tests detect COVID even as variants
The City of Minneapolis is offering free COVID-19 saliva tests. Testing is encouraged and available to everyone, whether or not you have symptoms. It’s one of the best ways to stop the spread of COVID-19 and help prevent exposing your loved ones to the virus along with wearing masks correctly, keeping 6 feet from anyone you don’t live with and hand-washing.
Testing is especially important now with people going back to school and because some of the recently found variants seem to spread more easily than the original strain – up to 70% more.
The State of Minnesota especially recommends these people get tested:
People returning to school, sports or other extracurricular activities and everyone they live with. By getting them tested every two weeks through the end of the school year, the State hopes to keep schools and sports open.
Free COVID-19 tests
Do not eat, drink or use tobacco products for 30 minutes before taking a COVID-19 saliva test.
Minneapolis Public Schools Davis Center, 1250 West Broadway 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays, March 13 and 20Columbia Manor Golf Course, 3300 Central Ave. NE 4-7 p.m. Thursdays, Feb. 25, March 4, 11, 18 and 25Phyllis Wheatley Community Center, 1301 10th Ave. N. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 27You can expect to get your test results in about two business days.
More free COVID-19 saliva tests
Minneapolis Convention Center, 1301 Second Ave. S., Exhibit Room E 10 a.m.-6 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. weekends Visit the State’s COVID-19 testing webpage to register.
Native American Community Clinic, 1213 E. Franklin Ave. 2 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays Appointments required: Call 612-872-8086 to schedule an appointment.
Southside Community Health Services, 324 E. 35th St. 2-3 p.m. Mondays through Fridays Appointments required: Call 612-821-3548 to schedule an appointment. You can expect to get your test results in about two-three business days. Same day testing can be done for health care workers, first responders and essential workers.
Brooklyn Park Starlight Center 11 a.m.-7 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. weekends. Visit the State’s COVID-19 testing webpage to register.
Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport 7 a.m.-7 p.m. seven days a week. Visit the State’s COVID-19 testing webpage to register.
Find a current list of free COVID-19 tests on the City website.
Why get tested? Videos in Spanish, Somali and Hmong
Whether you feel sick or not, get tested. This will protect your loved ones and help us all return safely back to school, work and other activities.
Watch and share these short videos in Spanish, Somali and Hmong.
Public health information: Slow the spread of COVID-19
- Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 situation update
- Minnesota vaccine data dashboard
- Minnesota vaccine distribution information
- Minneapolis COVID-19 vaccine information
- Find COVID-19 testing locations
- Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 information in multiple languages
- Spanish/English COVID-19 hotline: 651-304-6145
- Minnesota Black Community COVID-19 hotline: 612-254-1145
- Download the free COVIDaware MN app to get notified if you have been near someone who tests positive for COVID-19.
- Updated State of Minnesota guidance on quarantines
- City of Minneapolis COVID-19 Dashboard
- COVID-19: How to isolate or quarantine
- Tips on making your own cloth mask and guidance on wearing masks
- How to safely wear your mask
- COVID-19 guidance for parents, guardians and family
- What to do if an employee has COVID-19
- Hennepin County videos on using, making and wearing cloth masks in English, Spanish, Somali and Hmong.
- Centers for Disease Control COVID-19 information
- Email COVID19@minneapolismn.gov for health-related questions or guidance related to COVID-19.