Minnesota, the holidays are here. And if there’s one thing we can all celebrate, it’s the resolve Minnesotans have shown during the COVID-19 pandemic this year. Thank you for all your sacrifices this year and your continued commitment to beat this together. So many of you have given the gifts of kindness, patience and empathy during these tough times.

As we approach these next few weeks, I want all of you to consider yet another gift – protection. Protection for your friends and loved ones. Protection for your community. Protection for yourself. We all know the holidays as a time to come together and be close, but we need to think differently this year.

Last week, Gov. Tim Walz took the critical step of pausing some of our activities to curtail community spread and protect the health care heroes who work so hard to care for COVID-19 patients. It’s a shared sacrifice that we know is prudent and necessary, but we also need to do what we can on our own to be safe these next few weeks to protect the health and wellness of us all. This starts with:

  • Wearing your mask to protect yourself and others
  • Following social distancing guidelines
  • Avoiding gatherings
  • Staying home if you are sick

Adhering to these measures means the holidays are going to look very different this year. I know it will be challenging, but these steps are necessary not just for your safety – but for the safety of everyone around you.

Protecting ourselves and each other must be our greatest gift.

Stay safe, Minnesota. And check out the Minnesota Department of Health website for the full list of COVID-19 safety precautions.