As the back-to-school season approaches, state health officials have a message for all Minnesotans about COVID-19:

“People ignoring protective recommendations are likely to prolong the outbreak, making it worse and making it more likely that we will have to deal with a longer period of impact on schools and other community institutions, businesses, and our economy.”

State epidemiologist Dr. Ruth Lynfield is encouraging Minnesotans to continue wearing masks, follow social distancing guidelines, and to get tested when appropriate.