COVID-19 Information

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: NOVEMBER 15, 2022

GOVERNOR WALZ ANNOUNCES NEW ROUND OF FREE COVID TESTS AHEAD OF HOLIDAYS

Four additional tests per household will be available in advance of the Thanksgiving holiday. Minnesotans who have previously ordered tests are again able to receive four additional tests per household at order your free at-home rapid tests on mn.gov/covid19.

Rapid Antigen Tests available to Mille Lacs County residents. 

Please pick up at the Community & Veteran Services Office at 525 2nd Street SE, Milaca. Supplies are limited and tests are distributed on a first come, first served basis until gone.

COVID Tests and Bagged Masks (IMG)

No vaccination clinics are scheduled at this time. Please check back for updates or use Find My Vaccine/COVID-19 Updates and Information to find the closest provider near you. 

COVID-19 Vaccine updates (as of 11/17/2022)

  • On Wednesday Oct.12, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended that all people ages 5 years and older receive one bivalent mRNA booster dose at least 2 months after completion of a monovalent primary series or previously received monovalent booster dose.
  • Pfizer and Moderna Bivalent Vaccines authorized by FDA 8/31/2022 and recommended by CDC on 9/1/2022. NOTE: these vaccines are not authorized to be used as primary.
    • Bivalent includes spike protein from ‘ancestral’ (‘original’) SARS CoV-2 and spike protein from Omicron (BA.4/BA.5) SARS CoV-2
  • Current Booster Recommendations
    • Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, bivalent for individuals ages 5+ | NEW
    • Moderna bivalent COVID-19 vaccine, bivalent for individuals ages 6+ | NEW
    • Ages 5-11 are still eligible for the monovalent Pfizer booster. Monovalent booster is no longer authorized for ages 12-17.
    • Ages 50+ can receive 2 boosters, plus the bivalent 2 months after last booster
  • If it has been 2 months since your last booster, get this one, or wait 3 months after your most recent COVID-19 infection.
  • The bivalent vaccine cannot be given as a primary series. It is recommended to use the original vaccine for primary series to get the broad based immunity from the two doses. We know the original is successful and there is a plethora of data available. Bivalent might be eligible for primary series in the future.

Where to find COVID-19 Testing

As of August 11, 2022, the FDA advises people to perform repeat, or serial, testing following a negative result on any at-home COVID-19 antigen test, to reduce the risk an infection may be missed (false negative result) and to help prevent people from unknowingly spreading the SARS-CoV-2 virus to others. For more information: At-Home COVID-19 Antigen Tests-Take Steps to Reduce Your Risk of False Negative: FDA Safety Communication | FDA (Updated November 17, 2022)

  • FREE QuickVue At-Home and iHealth OTC COVID-19 test kits are available at the Community and Veterans Services. Note that the expiration date for these tests are 01/25/2023.
  • As of September 14, 2022, every home in Minnesota is eligible to order up to 4 rapid at-home COVID-19 test kits for free, while supplies last. Order your free at-home rapid tests 
  • Health care systems, clinics pharmacies, and other private labs are offering free testing for Minnesotans. A continuously updated list of participating sites can be found at Find Testing Locations.
  • Insurers are required to cover the cost of up to eight at-home COVID-19 test kits per month for enrollees. Check with your insurance company about ways to get free rapid testing from pharmacies.
  • More than 60 Minnesota pharmacies and community clinics are conducting on-site rapid resting and prescribing anti-viral medicine for at-risk individuals who test positive. Find a list of participating providers at the federal government’s Test to Treat Locator.
  • Ordering through the free at-home test program was suspended on Friday, September 2 because Congress hasn’t provided additional funding to replenish the nation’s stockpile of tests. For more information: COVID.gov/tests - Free at-home COVID-19 tests

If You Are Sick or Test Positive: COVID-19

Visit: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/sick.html for guidance and resources.

To determine how long you need to isolate, quarantine, or take other prevention steps, please reference the link below: 

COVID-19 Quarantine and Isolation Calculator | CDC

Please note that the Q&I Calculator is not for people with COVID-19 who are moderately or severely ill or those who have a weakened immune system (immunocompromised)—they should talk to their doctor about when to end isolation.


The COVIDaware MN app now allows people to alert other users of a possible exposure if they tested positive with a self-test. Additional details, including how to add COVIDaware MN, are found at:  https://www.mn.gov/covid19/covidawaremn/index.jsp.

Public Health COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic and COVID-19 information:

For additional information about Covid-19 vaccines, testing, or to view the State and Local vaccine data base: Minnesota Department of Health Website

Types of COVID-19 Vaccines Available:

There are four approved or authorized vaccines in the United States used to prevent COVID-19. Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna are COVID-19 mRNA vaccines. You can also get the Novavax COVID-19 protein subunit vaccine. Otherwise, you may get Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen (J&J/Janssen) COVID-19 viral vector vaccine in some situations. Visit the FDA links provided below for more information about the desired vaccine, fact sheets and FAQs.

For more information about a particular vaccine schedule, ingredients, eligible ages, and booster recommendations. Overview of COVID-19 Vaccines | CDC

If you have a medical condition or disability that puts you at higher risk or reaction to the vaccine, please contact your doctor prior to the vaccination or plan to get your vaccination at your local clinic.

Please check back here for the most up-to-date information on vaccine opportunities.

If you need additional assistance with scheduling your appointment or have any questions, please call Mille Lacs County @ 320-983-8448.

To schedule an appointment with Mille Lacs Health System in Onamia, please call 320-532-3154.

Missed your second dose and need to schedule? Contact Heidi Culbertson at heidi.culbertson@millelacs.mn.gov

COVID-19 Vaccine and Pregnancy

People who are pregnant can get the COVID-19 vaccine.

  • We know that pregnant people are at a higher risk of severe COVID-19 disease compared to non-pregnant people.
  • Based on how the COVID-19 vaccines work in the body, medical researchers do not think that the vaccines are a risk for people who are pregnant. But, we do not have much data on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in pregnant people.
  • If you are pregnant, you can choose to get vaccinated for COVID-19.
  • You may want to talk with your health care provider to help you decide whether to get vaccinated, but it is not required.

The COVID-19 vaccine is safe for people who want to have a baby one day.

    If you are trying to become pregnant now or want to get pregnant in the future, you can get a COVID-19 vaccine when one is available to you.

    We do not have any data to say that COVID-19 vaccination causes any problems with pregnancy, including the development of the placenta.

    There is no evidence that fertility problems are a side effect of any COVID-19 vaccine.

Boosters

Most Recent News: FDA Authorizes Second Booster Dose 

CDC Recommends Additional Boosters for Certain Individuals: Following FDA’s regulatory action, CDC is updating its recommendations to allow certain immunocompromised individuals and people over the age of 50 who received an initial booster dose at least 4 months ago to be eligible for another mRNA booster to increase their protection against severe disease from COVID-19. Separately and in addition, based on newly published data, adults who received a primary vaccine and booster dose of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine at least 4 months ago may now receive a second booster dose using an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. 

*All Minnesotans age 18 and older are recommended to get a booster shot. The timing of your booster shot depends on the vaccine you received for your initial vaccine series.

If you got Johnson & Johnson vaccine:

All Minnesotans age 18 and older should get a booster shot at least 2 months after their first dose.

If you got Pfizer or Moderna vaccine:

All Minnesotans age 18 and older should get a booster shot at least 6 months after their primary series of COVID-19 vaccine.

  • Officials also authorized "mixing and matching" COVID-19 vaccine boosters, meaning anybody who is eligible to get a booster shot can get any of the three currently authorized or approved vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson) – regardless of what vaccine they received for their primary series.

Talk to your health care provider about your risk, the need for a booster dose, and any questions about mixing and matching doses.

COVID-19 vaccines are effective, especially at preventing serious illness and death. However, evidence is showing that boosters for all adults, given at the appropriate time after your primary vaccination series, can help extend the protection and keep it at a higher level.

If you are eligible to get a booster shot, refer to Find Vaccine Locations.

COVID-19 Vaccine Information

For More information about the COVID-19 Vaccine, please visit:  
- Minnesota Department of Health Website
- CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Additional Vaccine Resources:

  1. Benefits of Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine (CDC) 
  2. COVID-19 Vaccination (CDC) 
  3. Ensuring COVID-19 Vaccines Work (CDC)
  4. Ensuring Safety of COVID-19 Vaccines (CDC)
  5. Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 Vaccination (CDC)
  6. How we will know the vaccine is safe (MDH)
  7. Rare Severe Allergic Reactions (CDC)
  8. About COVID-19 Vaccine (MDH)
  9. Answering Your Questions About the New COVID-19 Vaccines (CDC)
  10. Avoid COVID-19 Vaccine Scams
  11. Building Confidence in COVID-19 Vaccines (CDC)
  12. CDC public health recommendations for vaccinated persons (CDC)
  13. Continuing the Journey of a COVID-19 Vaccine (CDC) Infographic about how a COVID-19 vaccine is recommended for public use and how safety continues to be monitored
  14. COVID-19 Community Vaccination Program
  15. COVID-19 Vaccination Considerations for People Who Are Pregnant (CDC)
  16. COVID-19 Vaccine Dashboard (GOV) Information about data, dashboard definitions, and downloadable datasets can be found on this page under the dashboard.)
  17. COVID-19 Vaccine Phases and Planning (MDH)
  18. Finding Credible Vaccine Information (CDC)
  19. Getting Vaccinated for COVID-19 (MDH) Patient education resource.
  20. Help us get all Minnesotans signed up for the COVID-19 Vaccine Connector (PDF)
  21. Questions and Answers: COVID-19 Vaccines for School and Child Care Staff (GOV)
  22. Vaccine Distribution and Administration (GOV)
  23. Vaccine Hotlines (GOV)
  24. V-safe After Vaccination Health Checker
  25. What to Expect after Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine (CDC)