A Community of Immunity.
On June 18, the CDC announced its recommendation that children age 6 months and older should get a Pfizer or Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. The CDC also advises that children age 5 and older who receive the Pfizer vaccine should get a booster at least 5 months after their second shot. As COVID-19 cases continue to rise across the country and summer travel begins, getting vaccinated is our best line of defense to protect all people, including children age 6 months and older, from getting severely ill with COVID-19.
Are you ready for your booster? Use the CDC booster tool to help you make decisions about getting COVID-19 vaccines.
CDC has updated COVID-19 guidance and how it measures the COVID-19 community levels. The three metrics to determine the COVID-19 community level include:
- New COVID-19 admissions per 100,000 population in the past 7 days.
- The percent of staffed inpatient beds occupied by COVID-19 patients
- Total new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population in the past 7 days.
Stay up to date with Olmsted County's latest community level with the county check.
The City of Rochester is monitoring wastewater for COVID-19. The human body shed remnants of COVID-19 infection before it shows symptoms. Because the virus is detectable in human waste three to eight days before someone can get tested, scientists can monitor wastewater to help forecast future COVID-19 cases.
There are many opportunities to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccines are available at no cost; however, some clinics and pharmacies may charge an administration fee.
COVID-19 vaccine availability
Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccines are approved or authorized in the U.S. to prevent COVID-19. All currently approved or authorized COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective, and reduce your risk of severe illness.
Based on the latest research, CDC updated recommendations for individuals who have not yet received a COVID-19 vaccine. The recommendation is a clinical preference to get an mRNA vaccine (Pfizer or Moderna). Individuals who are unable or unwilling to receive an mRNA vaccine will continue to have access to Johnson and Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine. Any COVID-19 vaccine is better than being unvaccinated.
Compare the differences between the COVID-19 vaccines.
Olmsted County COVID-19 vaccine locations
Mayo Clinic: Patients ages five and older are eligible to be vaccinated and patients 12 and older are eligible to receive the booster five months out from their second vaccination. Individuals or parents and guardians can self-schedule a vaccination appointment now:
- Use your Patient Online Services account to schedule an appointment online or through the Mayo Clinic app.
- Call the Rochester campus Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or weekends from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.: 507-538-4040.
- If you don’t have a Patient online Services account, call Mayo Clinic Customer Assistance at 877-858-0398.
If you are eligible to receive a booster dose COVID-19 vaccine, check COVID-19 vaccine options by Mayo Clinic campus.
For more information on the COVID-19 vaccine and boosters visit the Mayo Clinic COVID-19 vaccine information site.
Olmsted Medical Center (OMC): OMC is scheduling COVID-19 vaccination appointments for children ages 5-11. In addition, OMC will be offering pediatric vaccination clinics every Saturday. To schedule an appointment, call 507-292-7300.
OMC is offering the Pfizer vaccine booster for patients 5+ who completed their primary series with Pfizer, Moderna, or J&J (Janssen). OMC also continues to offer appointments for first and second doses for the Pfizer vaccine.
OMC patients are now able to schedule an appointment for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine through the patient portal, OMC MyChart. Appointments can be scheduled for a first dose, second dose, or booster.
When you arrive at the vaccination location, you will be asked a series of questions to be sure you are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Please bring your vaccine card with you to the vaccination appointment.
Community Health Services: Call the clinic for more information.
Rochester Clinic: Call the clinic for more information.
Olmsted County Public Health Services is offering vaccines during regular clinic hours.
Local pharmacies and the State of Minnesota: Individuals can now sign up with the COVID-19 Vaccine Connector. The connector will help you find out when, where, and how to get your vaccine. Vax for Kids can help you find vaccine for children 5 to 11.
Vaccine for 5-11-year-old children
Olmsted County residents looking to vaccinate their child can:
- Visit mn.gov/vaxforkids to find clinic locations near you.
- Check with their pediatrician, family medicine clinic, or pharmacy about appointments.
- Watch for vaccination clinics being offered at schools or other community locations around Minnesota.
Importance of COVID-19 vaccines for children
COVID-19 is a vaccine-preventable disease and more of our children have access to its protection. Getting your child vaccinated is the best way to protect them and the people around them. Getting children vaccinated is the best way to keep everyone healthy and safe. Now is the time for every family member 6 months and older to get vaccinated.
Olmsted County providers offering the COVID-19 vaccine can now administer boosters to everyone 5 and older. Providers will check a patient’s immunization history prior to vaccination to ensure that the interval is timed appropriately.
Visit mn.gov/vaccine to find a provider near you. Contact the provider directly to make sure they are offering boosters and to make an appointment.
Minnesotans do not need to get their booster dose at the same location they received their initial series.
What is a booster shot?
COVID-19 vaccines continue to be highly effective in reducing risk of severe illness, hospitalization, and death. But data suggest that protection against infection decreases over time. Health officials have determined a booster shot is necessary to maximize protection once protection from the original vaccine series begins to wane.
People who have received their initial vaccine series (2 doses of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or 1 dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccine) still have protection even once it starts to decline. The booster shot helps get protection back up to a higher level.
What if I am not yet eligible to get a booster?
Do not get a booster before you are due, which is five months after the Pfizer/Moderna primary series (two doses for most people) and two months after Johnson & Johnson dose.
Replacing your vaccine card
Many people received a COVID-19 vaccine card when they received their vaccination. Some did not get a card and others have lost, misplaced, or forgotten to enter the information needed. Individuals who need complete and official proof of their COVID-19 vaccinations have a couple of options:
- If you received your vaccine at a provider or pharmacy, contact the provider directly or use your patient portal and ask to have a copy of your vaccine record emailed, mailed to you, or available for pick up from your provider.
- If you received your vaccine at any provider in Minnesota, use the link to request a copy of your vaccine record from MIIC (Minnesota Immunization Information Connection). This may take 28 business days to process.
- The Minnesota Department of Health has also released the Docket, a free app available for download in Apple and Android app stores, enabling residents to securely view and share their immunization records.
- If you need to update your phone number and address to access your immunization records, go to Find My Immunization Record.
The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control and the Minnesota Department of Health recommend people, vaccinated and not, get tested after exposure to COVID-19 or when developing symptoms.
Minnesota has worked hard to make it easy and convenient to get tested for COVID-19. It is important to get tested if you:
- Have not received your vaccine yet; and,
- Are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms experiencing symptoms – even if you are already fully vaccinated.
At-home rapid test ordering
At-home rapid tests are available at COVIDtests.gov. Test kits with four individual rapid antigen COVID-19 tests are shipped directly to your home.
Governor Tim Walz announced a new program allowing Minnesotans to order rapid COVID-19 tests online for delivery directly to their homes at no cost.
Minnesotans can order two test kits (for a total of four tests) per home through an online ordering system. Minnesota has secured 500,000 test kits.
Minnesota will use this program as a model for providing more access to COVID-19 rapid testing in the months ahead.
COVID-19 testing options for Olmsted County residents
Residents can call various places to make an appointment to get tested for COVID-19. Below is a list of options for Olmsted County residents.
Mayo Clinic patients: Call the COVID-19 Nurse Line at 507-293-9525.
Olmsted Medical Center patients:
Call the COVID-19 Nurse Line at 507-292-7266.
Patients can schedule an appointment for a COVID-19 test through the OMC MyChart Symptom Checker. After you sign into your OMC MyChart account, select “Symptom Checker” from the Menu. Testing hours are Monday through Friday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Community Health Services (aka Migrant Health)
Appointments are required – call 507-529-0503 to schedule a time
Hy-Vee – Locations in Olmsted County
- 500 Crossroads Drive SW, Rochester, MN 55902
- 4221 West Circle Dr. NW, Rochester, MN 55901
- 220 Center Town Plz N, Stewartville, MN 55976
Appointments are required.
Register online: www.hy-vee.com/my-pharmacy/services/covid-19-testing
Walgreens - Two locations in Olmsted County
Appointments are required - call 507-206-5132 to schedule a time
Register online: www.walgreens.com/findcare/covid19/testing
Compcare Occupational Medicine and Urgent Care
No appointment necessary.
Antigen tests: Antigen rapid tests are best used for screening before going to events or for rostered routine testing. You can receive results as early as 30 minutes after the sample collection.
PCR tests: PCR tests are used for symptomatic individuals, those with quarantine orders and for rostered routine testing. You can receive results as early as 24 hours after the sample collection.
If you have symptoms or have had close contact with someone who has COVID-19, you should stay home until you get your testing results.
Quarantine and Isolation
Use the CDC quarantine and isolation calculator to determine how long you need to isolate, quarantine, or take other steps to prevent spreading COVID-19.
The Minnesota Department of Health recommends high-risk patients who have tested positive for COVID-19 receive therapies shown to reduce the severity of the illness, prevent hospitalization, and improve outcomes.
A healthcare provider should always determine whether antiviral treatment is right for you by carefully reviewing your symptoms, medical history, and current medications.
Many healthcare systems and affiliated clinics offer testing, medical assessment, and prescriptions for antiviral medications.
The federal Test-to-Treat program allows people to get tested, and if positive and treatments are appropriate for them, receive a prescription and have their prescription filled, all at one location.