Have you received your booster?
Studies show after getting vaccinated against COVID-19, protection against the virus and the ability to prevent infection may decrease over time. The recent emergence of the Omicron variant further emphasizes the importance of vaccination, boosters, and prevention efforts to protect against COVID-19.
COVID-19 vaccination decreases the risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) strongly encourages COVID-19 vaccination for everyone five and older and boosters for everyone 12 and older. Vaccination is the best way to protect yourself and reduce the impact of COVID-19 on our communities.
Pfizer and Moderna boosters available at five months after primary series
The CDC and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) updated recommendations for when many people can receive the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 booster shot. People who completed the primary series of an mRNA vaccine may receive their booster five months after completing their initial series. The booster interval recommendation for people who received the Johnson and Johnson vaccine (two months) has not changed.
Pfizer boosters are available for everyone 12 and older five months after completing the primary series. Only people 18 and older may receive the Moderna or Johnson and Johnson booster.
Other COVID-19 mitigation efforts
In addition to the COVID-19 vaccination, the CDC and MDH also continue to recommend layered prevention strategies. People should wear masks in indoor public settings, get tested when recommended, wash hands frequently, and stay home when feeling ill.
Masking is still important
Masks offer protection against all variants, including Omicron. The CDC and MDH continue to recommend everyone two years or older wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high community transmission, regardless of vaccination status.
- In general, you do not need to wear a mask in outdoor settings.
- People who have a condition or are taking medications that weaken their immune system should continue to take all precautions recommended for unvaccinated people, including wearing a well-fitted mask unless their health care provider advises otherwise.
Wearing a mask over your nose and mouth is required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation.
Recommendations for large events
Olmsted County Public Health Services recommends that people hold events virtually or postpone when possible while Olmsted County remains an area of high community transmission.
- The Omicron variant is the dominant COVID-19 strain in Olmsted County.
- The Omicron variant has increased transmissibility than previous variants.
- Events with more people increase the likelihood of being exposed.
- The size of events should be determined based on whether attendees from different households can stay at least six feet apart from each other.
- Events where people engage in behaviors such as interacting with others outside their household, not maintaining physical distancing, or not wearing masks consistently and correctly can increase risk.
If you need to join indoor gatherings with others not in your household, consider using a self-test before and after attending.
- A positive self-test result means that you have an infection and should avoid indoor gatherings to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 to someone else.
- A negative self-test result means that you may not have an infection. Repeating the test at least 24 hours later will increase the confidence that you are not infected.
- Ask your health care provider if you need help interpreting your test results.
Experiencing mild COVID symptoms? Don’t go to the Emergency Department
Mayo Clinic and OMC ask the public not to go to the emergency department when feeling mild COVID-19 symptoms. Additionally, the emergency department should not be used for COVID-19 testing.
Updates from OCPHS, Mayo Clinic, and OMC
Olmsted County Public Health Services (OCPHS)
Olmsted County continues to remain in a high level of community transmission. Last week, 2,705 people tested positive for COVID-19. Check out the Olmsted County COVID webpage for continued updates.
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.
Mayo Clinic expands testing hours
COVID-19 testing is performed at the 41st Street Testing Center, located at 3033 41st Street NW in Rochester. The testing site's hours are now 8 a.m.–8 p.m. daily
Scheduled appointments are required for testing. Call the COVID-19 Nurse Line at 507-293-9525 or contact your primary care provider for screening.
Olmsted Medical Center (OMC)
OMC is scheduling COVID-19 vaccine appointments for children ages 5 to 11. To schedule an appointment, call 507-292-7300.
OMC is offering the Pfizer vaccine booster for patients 12+ who completed their primary series with Pfizer, Moderna, or J&J (Janssen). We also continue to offer appointments for first and second doses for the Pfizer vaccine. Appointments are available on Thursdays.
Employees, vendors, patients, and visitors are being asked to wear a surgical mask when in OMC buildings. If needed, patients and visitors will be provided a surgical mask to wear when going through the screening process. Patients who have their own surgical mask are invited to wear them when visiting an OMC building. This is an update to our masking guideline.