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We’ve heard it time and time again — we need to mask, maintain social distance, wash our hands and avoid large gatherings — but as evidenced by our ever-growing case numbers throughout Goodhue  County and the state of Minnesota, COVID-19 fatigue has set in across our community.

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines pandemic fatigue as being “demotivated” and exhausted with the demands of life during the COVID crisis. The WHO warns that this fatigue could ultimately lead to a longer, more devastating pandemic.

With the holidays upon us, there are several ways to enjoy holiday traditions and protect your health. We encourage you to take the following steps to make your holiday gatherings safer. It is up to all of us to protect ourselves and others by following recommendations to slow the spread of COVID-19. The more steps you take to slow the spread of COVID-19, the safer you will be.

No single step on its own is perfect at preventing COVID-19 spread, so try to layer prevention measures when and where you can.

  • Get tested: Take advantage of COVID-19 testing options so you can know before you gather. You can go to a testing site or use the at-home testing program. It is especially important to get tested if you have symptoms or were in close contact with someone who has COVID-19.

  • Stay home if you are sick: If you have symptoms or test positive, stay home and away from others. Do not attend or host a gathering. 

  • Wear well-fitting masks over your nose and mouth if you are in public indoor settings if you are not fully vaccinated, and even if you are fully vaccinated in communities experiencing substantial or high levels of COVID-19 transmission—that includes all of Minnesota.

  • Gather outdoors or in an area with good ventilation: If indoors, bring in fresh air by opening windows and doors if possible.

  • Avoid crowded settings: Gather in a place where people can keep space between each other.

  • Get vaccinated: The best way to keep your family and friends safe is to get vaccinated if you are eligible.

  • Lay low before you go: Minimize activities that present a high risk of exposure (attending crowded indoor public events, etc.) a couple of weeks before holiday gatherings or travel so you don’t get COVID-19 and spread it at a holiday event.

Additional guidance can be found on: www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays/celebrations.html

Goodhue County Health and Human Services is hosting Community COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics to vaccinate adults 18+ with the Moderna vaccine. Free first and second doses and free booster shots will be available. These clinics take place throughout Goodhue County in Cannon Falls, Zumbrota and in Red Wing at the Government Center. There is a monetary incentive for those who receive their first and/or second dose at one of these clinics.

If you are interested in being vaccinated at one of the upcoming COVID vaccination clinics go to www.co.goodhue.mn.us/covid-19vaccines. Pre-registration is preferred. If you need assistance registering, please call 651-385-2000.

For more information on other local locations that administer the COVID-19 vaccine go to: https://www.co.goodhue.mn.us/1406/Where-Can-I-Get-a-COVID-Vaccine.

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