The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now recommending masks be worn indoors by all people in counties that are reporting substantial or high levels of community transmission of COVID-19.

As of today, seventy of Minnesota's eighty-seven counties meet that criteria. The revised guidance comes as concerns grow regarding a nationwide spike in delta variant COVID-19 infections.

Two weeks ago the CDC announced that it was recommending vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals alike return to wearing masks indoors in parts of the U.S. where the delta variant of the coronavirus is fueling infection surges.

The 70 Minnesota Counties Now Recommended for Indoor Masks

U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

The CDC Now Recommends Indoor Mask Wearing in These Central Minnesota Counties

  • Benton County (substantial risk)
  • Douglas County (substantial risk)
  • Kandiyohi County (high risk)
  • Meeker County (high risk)
  • Mille Lacs County (substantial risk)
  • Morrison County (substantial risk)
  • Pope County (high risk)
  • Sherburne County (substantial risk)
  • Stearns County (high risk)
  • Todd County (substantial risk)
  • Wright County (substantial risk)
Centers for Disease Control

The State of Minnesota is now offering a $100 Visa gift card to unvaccinated individuals 12 and older who get their first COVID-19 vaccination dose through August 15th.

The Centers for Disease Control is also recommending that all K-12 students, teachers, staff and visitors wear masks inside school buildings to start the new school year, regardless of vaccination status.

The University of Minnesota has announced that everyone indoors on campus (vaccinated & unvaccinated) must wear a mask.

Target and Cub Foods have announced that all employees are required to wear masks.

CHECK IT OUT: Here's how to stop your glasses from fogging while wearing a face mask

LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.