Stay healthy this winter
Cold weather brings challenges for us all in helping to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus while also staying healthy – mentally, emotionally and physically. Here are some ideas, activities and resources to help you cope during the winter months.
Keep in mind that any time you gather with others outside your household, there is a risk for spreading the COVID-19 virus.
Stay healthy and safe
Stay safe during indoor activities
Keep the activity quick. The longer you spend with others, the higher the risk. Choose activities that involve less time.
Keep your distance. Maintain six feet of distance between you and those outside of your household.
Keep the group small. Keep indoor gatherings to 10 people or fewer. The smaller the group, the lower the risk.
Wear a face mask. By wearing one, you protect others. When others wear a mask, they protect you.
Increase ventilation. If weather allows, open doors and windows.
Think about the participants. Do they follow public health guidance (handwashing, wearing masks, practicing social distancing)? Do they have a higher risk of becoming severely ill from COVID-19? Do they live with someone who is at a higher risk?
Think about the venue. Is there space for proper social distancing? Does the location seem to follow safety precautions from the Stay Safe MN plan?
Avoid crowded, poor-ventilated indoor environments. Avoid the Three Cs:
- Crowded places,
- Close contact, and
- Closed, confined spaces.
Here's a brief video that explains Avoiding the Three Cs:
Safely celebrate the holidays while protecting yourself and others
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released guidance for how individuals and families can best protect their health while celebrating holidays. Activities are grouped as lower risk, moderate risk and higher risk.
Stay home if you are sick or have had close contact with someone with COVID-19. Doing so helps avoid spreading the illness. If you are hosting, reschedule the gathering for a later date when you are well.
Get creative with contactless ways to show you care. Try delivering holiday cookies or Thanksgiving leftovers to loved ones at their door.
Keep gatherings small and short in duration. If you gather, keep it small. Check out Minnesota’s Stay Safe Plan for the latest guidance.
- Allow enough space for guests to remain six feet apart.
- Everyone who can wear a face mask should do so. Store your mask on a clean, safe surface while eating.
- Avoid visiting several different households in a single day.
- Keep a list of guests in case one of them gets COVID-19. This will be helpful if you're contacted by a health department case interviewer.
Incorporate outdoor activities into your family’s traditions. Being outside allows for greater airflow, which dilutes the COVID-19 virus. Some ideas:
- Go for a hike on a local trail.
- Build a snowman.
- Go sledding in a park.
- Check the Parks and Recreation department for a fall and winter outdoor activities.
Share food safely. The main risk of getting COVID-19 comes from people being too close when serving or eating food.
- Start a recipe-sharing tradition in your family. Send pictures of the final products.
- If you gather, seat people in small groups or in multiple rooms instead of a large communal table.
- Give each table their own appetizers and beverages. Avoid putting these items in communal areas.
- Put festive face masks on tables as party favors, in case someone forgets theirs.
- Have one person with washed hands serve the food. Avoid multiple people touching the same utensils and serving bowls.
Follow these MDH tips for what to consider when traveling. Travel increases your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19.
COVID-19 Testing Locations
COVID-19 Testing Locations: Find a map of ongoing testing locations at clinics and hospitals across Minnesota, as well as free nasal swab and saliva testing locations offered by the Minnesota Department of Health.
Flu shot clinics
Visit the City's Fight the Flu page for a list of upcoming flu shot clinics and general info about flu shots.