Olmsted County recommends everyone mask indoors

(ABC 6 News) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) have recently issued a new classification system for when face coverings are recommended indoors to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Olmsted County has now reached the threshold for when these recommendations go into effect. Olmsted County therefore recommends that everyone wear a face covering even if they are vaccinated in the following situations:

  • In public, indoor settings in areas with substantial or high community transmission (which includes Olmsted County currently.)
  • Where there is a high risk of COVID-19 spread or complications from COVID-19 infection, such as schools, health care settings, homeless shelters, and correctional facilities.
  • If you are immunocompromised or at an increased risk for severe disease from COVID-19.
  • If you live or frequently interact with someone who is immunocompromised, not fully vaccinated, or at an increased risk for severe disease from COVID-19.

The vaccine is still highly effective against COVID-19 and dramatically reduces hospitalizations and death. However, the Delta variant spreads very easily, and in rare cases, vaccinated people can transmit the virus even if they do not have symptoms.

Olmsted County’s current classification is as a county with substantial community transmission for COVID-19. This means our county has had either 50 total new cases per 100,000 people over the last seven days or an 8% positive test rate over the past seven days.

Vaccines that protect against COVID-19 are widely available through medical providers and pharmacies. Individuals 12 and older can find vaccine availability at https://mn.gov/covid19/vaccine/find-vaccine/locations/index.jsp.

Other ways to reduce the spread of the virus include staying home when sick and getting tested when presenting symptoms or coming into exposure.