Holiday Travel

The most recent Executive Order from Wednesday, November 18th strongly discourages unnecessary travel:
Travel advisory. Persons arriving in Minnesota from other states or countries, including returning Minnesota residents, are strongly encouraged to practice self-quarantine for 14 days after arrival by limiting their interactions to their immediate household. This recommendation does not apply to individuals who must cross state or country borders for work, study, medical care, or personal safety and security. Students returning home for school breaks are strongly encouraged to follow the recommendations available at MDH’s Institutes of Higher Education website (

MDH Recommendations: Who Should Get Tested?

1)  Anyone with symptoms should seek out testing immediately.

  • Symptoms of COVID-19 can include cough, shortness of breath, fever, chills, headache, muscle pain, sore throat, or loss of taste or smell. Read more about symptoms of COVID-19 and what you should do if you have symptoms, including information on COVID-19 in other languages at Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
  • Stay home when you are sick, whether you seek testing or not. If you leave your home to get a test, wear a mask and stay 6 feet away from other people. The COVID-19 Test at Home program may be your best option for getting tested in the comfort of your own home.
  • Community testing sites are best for people with mild symptoms. If you have moderate to severe symptoms call your doctor or health care provider or go to the hospital.

2) Anyone who was exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 should get tested.

  • It is best to get tested at least five days after the last time you were close to the person with COVID-19. If you get tested too soon, the test may not be able to detect the virus.
  • You will need to stay home for 14 days after your last contact with the person who has COVID-19, whether you have symptoms or not. Even with a negative result AND no symptoms, you must still quarantine for 14 days.
  • The COVID-19 Test at Home program may be your best option for getting tested, particularly if you learn about exposure early in the 14-day window.
  • If you would prefer to visit a Community Testing Site, make an appointment. If the site nearest you has no available appointments on the day you are looking to get tested, either look at a later date or try finding a testing location a little farther away.

3) Anyone who is still working at places that remain open during Dial Back, Minnesota should get tested. This includes critical infrastructure, first responders, health care, retail, child care, etc.

  • If you do not have symptoms and you have not been notified of exposure, you are still at risk given how quickly the virus is spreading.
  • Make a plan to get tested at least once before December 18, 2020. If possible, get tested once near the beginning of the four-week period and once again near the end of the four-week period.
  • We urge you to make an appointment at a Community Testing Site. Plan ahead to find an available appointment, even if that includes looking at a testing location a little farther away.
  • The COVID-19 Test at Home program may also be a good option for those getting tested as part of a screening strategy.

In addition to offering these criteria, health officials are urging people to make an appointment to get a test and only use the walk-in option for testing if they need a test that very day. Too many people coming without an appointment can create long lines and increase potential for unsafe in-person gatherings. Testing sites in Greater Minnesota and outer suburbs may have more appointment availability than sites in and near the Twin Cities, so finding a testing site farther away may be a good option to consider.

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