Minnesota health officials provide guidelines on celebrating Eid al-Fitr safely during pandemic

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Muslim women offer evening prayers (namaz) at the makeshift memorial in honor of George Floyd, on June 4, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Minnesota health officials have released guidleines on how the state’s Muslim community can celebrate Eid al-Fitr safely during the pandemic. Eid will tentatively land on May 13, 2021. Photo: Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

Eid al-Fitr, which will tentatively land on May 13 this year is usually celebrated by Muslims around the world by attending Eid prayers, gathering with the community, family and friends, giving gifts, dressing up, and eating lots of food. Eid marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

Muslims in Minnesota are no exception and the Minnesota Department of Health, well aware of the significance of the holiday, has issued guidelines on how to celebrate Eid during the pandemic safely.

Gov. Walz announced last week that capacity and social distancing restrictions at businesses, gyms, social gatherings and at bars and restaurants will end on May 28, but Eid is arriving about two weeks before that.

The following are the guidelines from the Minnesota Department of Health:

Guidelines to help prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Do not host or attend large gatherings at mosques, restaurants, or your home, if possible. If you must, follow these recommendations:
    • Attend or host an outdoor gathering instead of an indoor gathering, if possible.
    • Wear a mask if you are indoors with anyone you do not live with. If you are in a crowded outdoor space, it is recommended to still wear a mask.
    • Stay 6 feet away from anyone you do not live with.
  • Consider delaying travel, even after you are vaccinated.
    • Every time you travel, you can spread COVID-19 variants to your community when you return. Help prevent COVID-19 variants from spreading in your community.
  • Get tested if you are exposed to someone with COVID-19, feel sick, or traveled recently.

Guidelines unvaccinated people should follow:

If you gather with people from other households, remember to:

  • Wear a mask at indoor gatherings. If you are in a crowded outdoor space, it is recommended to still wear a mask.
  • Stay at least 6 feet away from others.
  • Gather in an area with good ventilation. If indoors, bring in fresh air by opening windows and doors, if possible.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes, and wash or sanitize your hands often.
  • Write down the guest list in case someone tests positive for COVID-19 afterward and others at the gathering need to know.
  • Get tested at least five days after attending a large gathering.

If you are sick, waiting for COVID-19 test results, or were in close contact of someone who has COVID-19, stay home and do not attend a social gathering.

Get vaccinated if you are eligible. It is the best way to help prevent getting COVID-19 and be able to celebrate with community safely.

Guidelines vaccinated people should follow:

If you have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and it has been at least two weeks since the final dose of vaccine (enough time for your body to develop immunity), you have good protection against illness for yourself.

  • Wear a mask when gathering with anyone who is unvaccinated or when visiting a household with anyone at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
  • You can gather indoors with smaller groups of fully vaccinated people without wearing a mask. Avoid larger gatherings.
  • You can gather indoors with unvaccinated people from one other household (for example, visiting with relatives who all live together) without masks.
    • Do not visit people who have an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
  • You can gather with others outdoors without wearing a mask except in crowded settings and venues, such as sporting events, outdoor concerts, or other places where you cannot stay 6 feet from others and you are with people you don’t know. Recommendations may differ by setting.

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