COVID-19 Updates: August 4, 2021

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Minnesota Department of Health

August 4, 2021

Minnesota News and Outreach

Recommendations for Wearing Masks

New data suggests the Delta variant is different than past versions of the virus and spreads about twice as easily from one person to another. With the Delta variant, fully vaccinated people may be able to pass the disease to others. However, fully vaccinated people are less likely to get infected, and if a vaccinated person gets infected, the illness will likely be mild. The vaccine also greatly reduces the chance of hospitalization and death.

MDH and CDC recommend everyone, both fully vaccinated and unvaccinated, wear a mask in the following situations:

  • In public, indoor settings in areas with substantial or high transmission. Refer to the map on CDC COVID Data Tracker: COVID-19 Integrated County View to find community transmission levels in your county.
  • 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, including older adults and those who have certain medical conditions. Immunocompromised people, even if fully vaccinated, should talk to their health care providers for other specific recommendations.
  • 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.
Wear your mask - StaySafeMN

In addition to the above recommendations for everyone, anyone who is not fully vaccinated, including children ages 2 and older, should continue to wear well-fitted facemasks in the following settings:

  • Indoor public settings
  • Around people from other households
  • Outdoors when social distancing cannot be maintained

Fully vaccinated people may choose to wear a mask in any situation where it feels needed, regardless of whether others around them are masked.

Visit Recommendations for Wearing Masks for more information.

Gift Card Incentive for COVID-19 Vaccine

Governor Walz announced that Minnesota is joining the Biden Administration’s initiative to provide $100 to all Minnesotans age 12 and older who roll up their sleeves and get their COVID-19 vaccine from July 30 through August 15. With the Delta variant pushing cases up in Minnesota and across the country, the Governor is joining a national effort to fight the rise of COVID-19 as fall approaches and students go back to school.

Minnesotans 12 years of age and older who receive their first dose between Friday, July 30 and Sunday, August 15, 2021, will be eligible for a $100 Visa gift card. Beginning August 4, Minnesotans can verify their first dose and register for the incentive at Get vaccinated. Get $100.

Visit Find Vaccine Locations, contact a health care provider or local pharmacy, or go to to find a COVID-19 vaccine near you.

Read the news release:
Governor Walz Joins President Biden Initiative to Slow COVID-19 Case Growth, Announces $100 Reward for New COVID-19 Vaccinations

Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Materials

We are adding new videos, print materials, and translated documents often. Check out the pages below to view, download, or print these resources.

COVID-19 Translated Materials

Materials and Resources for COVID-19 Response

Videos for COVID-19 Response

The situation is changing rapidly. Visit Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) for the most up-to-date information and follow MDH on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram to stay informed.

What's New

COVID-19 Medication Options

Medications to prevent or treat illness - called monoclonal antibody treatment - may be available if you. These medications can be used in people 12 years of age and older who weigh at least 88 pounds (40 kg) who are at high risk for severe COVID-19, including hospitalization or death for:

  • Prevention of COVID-19 in people who have had close contact or are at high risk of being in close contact with someone with COVID-19, such as people in the same institutional setting (for example, nursing homes or prisons) where COVID-19 is circulating.
  • Treatment of mild to moderate symptoms of COVID-19.

Refer to COVID-19 Medication Options for more information and eligibility criteria. Talk to your health care provider about treatments that may be right for you.

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.

Letting the Community Lead the Way: Nobles County Research Study Sheds Light on COVID-19 Spread

In April 2020, a COVID-19 outbreak temporarily shut down the JBS pork plant in Worthington, Minnesota. Employees at this pork plant identify as Hispanic or Latinx, African, or Asian immigrants, communities that have been hardest hit by COVID-19 due to many systemic barriers and challenges. Over 600 employees tested positive, leaving the small community in Nobles County with a ripple effect that was incalculable at the time.

Last summer, the city of Worthington and MDH conducted a research study to better understand the impact and extent of the outbreak in Nobles County. The study would involve collecting blood samples from residents and testing them for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, an indicator of past COVID-19 infection. The study had 1,691 participants that represented the Nobles County population by race and ethnicity. 

Nobles County serology study event in ice arena

In total, 266 participants tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies, meaning they previously had COVID-19. The positivity rates showed a racial and ethnic disparity. MDH and the Nobles County community were able to collect data to both better understand the outbreak at JBS and the different factors that contributed to COVID-19 risk and overall health challenges in the area.

Read more: Letting the Community Lead the Way: Nobles County Research Study Sheds Light on COVID-19 Spread

Guidance and Resources



NOTE: Look for an "Updated" date below guidance links on our website to know when the resource was last revised.

MDH COVID-19 Public Hotline

For questions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, call:


Monday-Friday: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Saturday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.