COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions
To report a potential violation of the Governor’s orders, please email SAHviolations@state.mn.us or call 651-793-3746.
The State has created a chart that outlines Minnesota's phased-in approach to reopening various business and social settings. Facial coverings are strongly recommended at all times, and all non-Critical Sector businesses are required to have adopted and implemented a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan.
PHASE III: STARTS JUNE 10 (current phase)
Phase III of the Stay Safe Order turns the dial further to open:
- Restaurants and bars for indoor at 50% capacity, not to exceed 250 individuals for indoors and outdoors settings each – see guidance for additional details, with reservations required;
- Personal services like salons, tattoo parlors and barbershops at 50% capacity with appointments required;
- Gyms, personal fitness and yoga studios for both indoor and outdoor use at 25% capacity, not to exceed 250 individuals for indoors and outdoors settings each – see guidance for additional details;
- Seated indoor entertainment like movies, concert halls, bowling, arcades, museums, and theaters at 25% capacity, maximum of 250 people in an area – see guidance for additional details;
- Pools at 50% capacity and maintain social distancing; and
- Outdoor event and entertainment settings, like sporting events, concerts, and theaters, must not exceed 250 people – see guidance for additional details and must continue to follow social distancing guidelines, maintain social distancing, and strongly recommend masks be worn.
Find MDH guidelines for business sectors here.
The Governor continues to encourage Minnesotans to take cautious steps forward by protecting those most at risk, supporting workers, and all do our part to slow the spread of the virus by:
- Washing your hands often
- Getting tested when sick
- Maintaining social distance
- Wearing a mask
- Staying home when able
For additional questions, please reference the FAQ on the Governor’s website: https://mn.gov/governor/covid-19/faq.jsp
Minnesota Department of Health Guidance related to recent civil unrest
The Minnesota Department of Health recommends that any Minnesotan who has attended a protest, vigil, or community clean-up get tested for COVID-19. If you start to feel sick, get tested right away. If you do not feel sick, get tested as soon as you can, but no later than 5-7 days after the event. If the test is negative and you are worried you might have been exposed, get another test 12-14 days after the event, even if you do not feel sick. Talk to a doctor, local clinic, or find a testing location near you: https://mn.gov/covid19/for-minnesotans/if-sick/testing-locations/index.jsp.
Face coverings required in City-controlled facilities and in licensed businesses starting June 1
Executive order 2020-09 requires face masks to be worn indoors in all city-controlled facilities and at all businesses licensed by the City of Saint Paul at all times when social distancing of at least 6 feet is not maintained.
The order will apply to all individuals except young children at risk of suffocation and persons who cannot medically tolerate wearing a face covering. Acceptable face coverings include manufactured or homemade cloth face coverings, and are not required to be medical-grade masks. Face coverings must fully cover a person’s nose and mouth.
All businesses in Saint Paul are also strongly encouraged to include a requirement that all individuals wear a face covering at all times when social distancing of at least 6 feet is not maintained in their COVID-19 Preparedness Plan under Governor Walz’ Executive Order 20-56.
How many cases of COVID-19 are there in Saint Paul?
Find the latest situation report on the Minnesota Department of Health’s website: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/situation.html
How can I prevent getting COVID-19?
Health officials recommend taking the same precautions for COVID-19 as you would for avoiding colds and the flu:
- Cover your coughs and sneezes with your sleeve or a tissue, not your hand.
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
- Stay home when you are sick.
Do I need to wear a face covering?
In light of new data about how COVID-19 spreads, along with evidence of widespread COVID-19 illness in communities across the country, CDC recommends that people wear a cloth face covering to cover their nose and mouth in the community setting. This is to protect people around you if you are infected but do not have symptoms.
Find a comprehensive FAQ about the CDC’s guidance about face coverings here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cloth-face-cover-faq.html
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
The CDC believes at this time that symptoms of COVID-19 may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 after exposure. Symptoms can include:
- Repeated shaking with chills
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- New loss of taste or smell
If I have symptoms, when should I see a doctor?
- If you have symptoms and can manage those symptoms at home, you don't have to seek health care or be tested for COVID-19. Just stay home while you are sick. This prevents you from accidentally spreading COVID-19 to others who may be at higher risk for serious complications.
- If you are older or have underlying medical conditions, it may be helpful to let your health care provider know you are sick. They may have some specific advice for you.
- Some people with COVID-19 have worsened during the second week of illness.
- Seek medical care right away if your illness is worsening (for example, if you have difficulty breathing).
- Before going to the doctor’s office or emergency room, call ahead and tell them your symptoms. They will tell you what to do.
- If you don’t have a health care provider or are uninsured, contact a federally qualified Community Health Center.
What should I do if I don’t have insurance?
- If you don’t have a health care provider or are uninsured, contact a federally qualified Community Health Center: https://mnachc.org/community-health-centers/find-a-health-center/.
- MNsure is offering a special enrollment period for qualified individuals who are currently without insurance in response to the potential growth of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases. This special enrollment period runs Monday, March 23 through Tuesday, April 21. Learn about eligibility here: https://www.mnsure.org/new-customers/enrollment-deadlines/special-enrollment/covid19-sep.jsp.
Health Questions? Call 651-201-3920 or 1-800-657-3903. This is a state hotline staffed by MDH and will be operating from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Where can I find mental health resources?
- Ramsey County residents who are experiencing stress and mental health symptoms as a result of COVID-19 are encouraged to call the county’s Crisis Team for support and resources. The county’s two crisis lines continue to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
- Children’s Mental Health Crisis Line: 651-266-7878.
- Adult Mental Health Crisis Line: 651-266-7900.
- CDC: Helping Children Cope During and After a Crisis
- CDC - Printable Coping Strategies Activity and Coloring Book
- PBS - How You and Your Kids Can De-Stress During Coronavirus
Where can I find multilingual health information?
- 2019 ኮሮናቫይረስ በሽታ (ኮቪድ-19)
- فیروس كورونا المستجد 2019
- 2019 Novel Coronavirus Hmoob
- Koronafayraska Cusub ee 2019
- Enfermedad del Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19)
- Loại coronavirus mới 2019 (COVID-19)
- COVID-19 KAREN
- Twin Cities PBS: Coronavirus: An Almanac Special
- American Sign Language (ASL): Coronavirus PSA video from MDH
- American Sign Language (ASL): COVID-19 video playlist from the CDC
The Minnesota Department of Health has community recommendations involving employers, assisted living facilities, schools and health care settings and large and small community events and gatherings.
I am concerned about visiting a doctor because of my immigration status.
Anyone who is sick during the COVID-19 crisis should seek medical care without fear, regardless of immigration status or ability to pay for health services. It is important that everyone in Saint Paul including non-citizen residents regardless of immigration status obtain medical care should they become ill.
The recent changes to the “public charge rule” which makes it harder for some immigrants to obtain a green card or visa when they have received certain government benefits and ICE’s increased enforcement activities in local communities have worked to discourage immigrants and refugees from going to hospitals and medical care facilities to seek medical treatment.
However, it is important for our immigrant and refugee communities in Saint Paul to know that:
Public charge: The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) will not consider any “testing, treatment, nor preventative care (including vaccines, if a vaccine because available) related to COVID-19 in a public charge determination, even if such treatment is provided or paid for by one or more public benefits.”
ICE Enforcement: On March 18th, ICE announced that it would “temporarily adjust its enforcement posture” and focus enforcement on “public safety risks and individuals subject to mandatory detention based on criminal grounds.” For all others, the agency “will exercise discretion to delay enforcement actions until after the crisis or utilize alternatives to detention, as appropriate.” The ICE also stated that “consistent with its sensitive locations policy, during the COVID-19 crisis, it will not make any arrests near hospitals, doctor’s offices, or health clinics “except in the most extraordinary circumstances.”
Find more information on the City Attorney’s Office translated into Hmong, Karen, Oromo, Somali, and Spanish: https://www.stpaul.gov/departments/city-attorney/civil-division/immigration-resources-assistance.
- Viruses don’t discriminate, and neither should we. Stigma will NOT fight COVID–19. If you believe you have been discriminated against because of COVID-19, contact the City of Saint Paul by calling 651-266-8966, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.stpaul.gov/hreeo.
- Amid rising reports of discrimination from the Asian American community, Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan today launched a Discrimination Helpline to reinforce the state’s efforts to protect the civil rights of Minnesotans during the COVID-19 pandemic. The toll-free helpline, which is at 1-833-454-0148, will allow those who experience or witness bias and discrimination to report incidents to the Minnesota Department of Human Rights. The helpline is staffed Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.