(FOX 9) - The omicron variant is now estimated to be the dominant COVID-19 strain in Minnesota, state health officials said Wednesday.
The news comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported earlier this week omicron is now the dominant version of the coronavirus in the U.S., accounting for approximately 73% of new infections last week.
MDH releases holiday guidance amid omicron spread in Minnesota
The Minnesota Department of Health detailed several steps Minnesotans should take as they prepare for holiday gatherings to slow the spread of the omicron variant in the state.
- Get vaccinated: All Minnesotans age 5 and up are eligible to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Find open vaccination appointments at mn.gov/vaccine.
- Get boosted: All Minnesotans 16 and older are recommended to get a booster shot when they are due, which is six months after receiving the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines and two months after receiving Johnson & Johnson.
- Get tested: Test before gatherings, even if you are not experiencing any symptoms, to avoid spreading the virus to others unknowingly. The state offers a number of free testing options or you can make an appointment with a local clinic or pharmacy. If you are using an over-the-counter at-home rapid test, MDH recommends using it as close to your gathering as possible. If you test positive, stay home.
- Mask up: Wear a well-fitting mask while traveling and in indoor public settings like a grocery store, shopping mall or school.
- Stay safe: Wash your hands. Do your best to avoid crowded indoor spaces before getting together with family and friends, especially those who are high-risk and children under 5 who cannot be vaccinated. Know the vaccination status of those with whom you are gathering to make sure everyone is safer when together.