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COVID-19 Updates

Update February 23, 2022

The VOC met this morning to discuss our recommendations for the Zvago community. We
have been looking at the continued decline in Omicron cases in the metro area and the state.
The wastewater data shows a significant decline in cases to a level similar or lower than last
fall. We have looked at positivity rate and cases per 100,000 for Ramsey county and these
metrics continue to show a rapid decline nearing the threshold for relaxing mitigation strategies
such as masking. The city of St Paul has not yet removed it’s mask mandate for city licensed
businesses. We are also awaiting new guidance from the CDC on guidelines for relaxing
mitigation strategies such as masking.

With that in mind the VOC is recommending the following:


1. Masking is optional for Zvago members and vaccinated visitors. Members are encouraged
to use their own judgement and level of risk tolerance to make this decision. For most of
us, being fully vaccinated and boosted provides protection against severe disease and
hospitalization. We also know that older people and those who are immunocompromised
or have certain underlying medical conditions may not have as much immunity. In that
case, wearing a mask can provide additional protection.
2. Members should continue to follow the masking guidelines for those who are close
contacts and those who are recovering from Covid.
3. Advise your visitors if there is a Covid case in the building. Your visitors have the option to
wear a mask for additional protection.

Social events and committees:

1. Members can apply the same masking guidance as stated above. Masks are optional at
social events. These are individual decisions based on one’s personal comfort and medical
2. Anyone who is a close contact of an infected individual should not attend in-person social
events until they have had a negative test.
3. Food and drink can be served at social events.
4. Anyone with an illness should not attend social events or in-person meetings.
5. Members are asked to be thoughtful when holding an in-person committee meeting. Try to
offer a Zoom option if a committee member is not comfortable meeting in-person.

Fitness Center

1. Return to normal use with the option for a member to sign up for a time to use the space
alone. Members should ask the person exercising if it is okay to share the space with

Update January 12, 2022

The Board of Directors and the VOC today announced an updated set of guidelines regarding masking, meetings, social events and the Fitness Center.  Please read and become familiar with the new guidelines.

The complete text of these guidelines may be viewed by clicking on this link :  Read Guidelines

Update November 6, 2021

The VOC committee recommendations for the Zvago community when a breakthrough case occurs. From an Nov 6th email from Sandra Anderson.

Close contacts:

A close contact is defined by CDC as someone who was within 2 meters (6 feet) of an infected person for at least 15 minutes within a 24-hour period starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic cases 2 days prior to positive specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.

If you are a close contact:

1. Get tested with a PCR test 5-7 days after the close contact (per updated CDC guidance as of October 15th). MDH still recommends 3-5 days.
2. Wear a mask in the common spaces of Zvago for 14 days or until you receive a negative test. If you live with a vulnerable or high risk person you should wear a mask in your home until you test negative.
3. Continue to monitor yourself for Covid-19 symptoms for 14 days and get retested if you develop symptoms.
4. If you have symptoms of Covid-19 get tested immediately. If positive you need to isolate for ten days from your positive test or when symptoms began.
5. Isolation can be ended when you are ten days out from when your symptoms began or you had a positive test and you have been fever free for 24 hours without use of fever reducers and your symptoms have improved.
6. Report your breakthrough infection to your wing captain or VOC member and report your close contact status and your test result to Becky Steeber

Masking in the Zvago common spaces when there is a breakthrough case

1. Masking is recommended if you have been a close contact of the breakthrough case until you test negative.
2. For all others, masking is optional. Use your best judgement and your own level of risk tolerance to make this decision. For most of us, being fully vaccinated and being two weeks past your booster vaccination provides protection. We also know that older people and those who are immunocompromised or have certain underlying medical conditions may not have as much immunity. In that case, wearing a mask can offer additional protection.
3. Advise your visitors when there is a breakthrough case in the community. Your visitors have the option to mask for additional protection.

Social events and committees
1. Members can apply the same masking guidance as stated above. Masks are optional at social events. These are
individual decisions, based on one’s personal comfort and medical status. Those who are fully vaccinated and have
received a booster dose may choose not to mask. Wearing a mask provides one more layer of protection.
2. Anyone who has been a close contact of an infected individual should not attend
in-person social events or meetings until they have had a negative test.
3. Food and drink can be served at social events.
4. Anyone with an illness should stay away from social events and in-person meetings.

Return from domestic and international travel

1. Per CDC guidance, fully vaccinated individuals returning from international travel do not need to quarantine when they arrive home. They do need to get a PCR Covid-19 test 3-5 days after travel.
2. Per CDC guidance, individuals returning from domestic travel do not need to quarantine or be tested when they have returned home.
3. The VOC recommends being cautious when returning from an area of high Covid-19 transmission. You may want to get tested even if you only travelled within the United States. You may decide to wear a mask in the common areas until you have a negative test result.

We hope that this guidance is helpful. We know that we may continue to see additional breakthrough cases. Our goal is to offer the best knowledge that we have and ask individuals to make decisions that offer the opportunity to stay socially engaged as well as use measures to protect the entire community.

Update Sept 30, 2021

The VOC met last week to review the latest information on the Delta variant of Covid and the Minnesota and Ramsey county information on community transmission. We have had a few
questions recently from members and we would like to address these concerns.

Are we going to change the current masking recommendations for the common areas?

* At this time there will be no change to the masking recommendations. We encourage
members to review the latest information and decide for themselves whether they wish to
add another layer of protection by masking in our common areas. For people who are
immunocompromised or people who regularly interact with immunocompromised or
unvaccinated individuals, MDH recommends wearing a mask in indoor public or outdoor
crowded spaces. Keep informed of local levels of community transmission and public health
guidance. Here are some recent updates:

1. Ramsey County is now an area of high transmission. The positivity rate is at 5.43%. The
CDC recommends masking in indoor public spaces in areas of substantial or high
transmission. They also recommend masking in outdoor areas if you are in a large crowd
(State Fair). 98% of Minnesotans counties are in high transmission categories. As of this
week, 95% of Minnesotans ICU beds are occupied. There are also staffing shortages
and a reduced ability to get out of state help since Covid is surging throughout the U.S.

2. We’ve heard about “breakthrough infections” in vaccinated people. Remember that the
vaccines were developed to reduce severe disease and death, but they do not protect as
well against infections. The Delta variant is highly transmissible (more infectious than the
common cold, seasonal flu, Ebola) and as infectious as chicken pox. Breakthrough
infections are being tracked in Minnesota by actively matching positive cases with
immunization records and by taking reports from healthcare providers, long term care
and corrections. Nearly 30% of new Minnesota cases in the first four weeks of August
were in fully vaccinated people. Minnesota data:
- breakthrough cases - 0.42% in fully vaccinated (420 per 100,000)
- hospitalized breakthrough cases - 0.027% in fully vaccinated (27 per 100,000)
- deaths from breakthrough cases - 0.002% of fully vaccinated (2 per 100,000)

3. Recent studies indicate that vaccination is effective at preventing severe disease and
death but that the efficacy of the mRNA vaccines is somewhat lower over time. A third
dose has been approved for those who are immunocompromised and the vaccine is
readily available (check local pharmacies and with your clinic to find a third dose). We
will all be eligible soon for a booster vaccination.

Are we going to require contractors/ workers/ visitors to be masked?

* Unvaccinated visitors or workers need to mask. If you have unvaccinated visitors they must
wear a mask in our common areas. Jonathan checks the vaccination status of our
contractors. The VOC is not recommending that vaccinated visitors or workers need to be
masked. We feel as though we cannot ask vaccinated people (visitors, workers) to mask in
our common areas unless all of us also mask as well. If you have a contractor coming into
your home you can decide whether or not to ask them to wear a mask.
Remember that even a small leak at the edge of a mask greatly reduces protection. Don’t give
this virus full access! Please call or email your concerns or questions.

Update Sept 24, 2021

Visitor policy in the Park and the Social as of July 1, 2021 : A reminder from this week's newsletter

1. Residents may have vaccinated visitors in the Park and the Social. Unvaccinated children (age 5 and up) must wear masks.

2. To improve ventilation, open windows and use the Vornado fan to blow air out of the room. Air purifiers can be set to the maximum setting.

3. Please use disinfectant spray to clean all surfaces after your event is over.

4. Please advise visitors not to come if they have any respiratory symptoms.

This policy is in the process of revision. There will be an updated version sent out after the next Board meeting on September 29th. There will also be additional information on the use of the air purifiers and fans.

Update Sept 16, 2021
At the outbreak of the pandemic, the VOC committee developed a protocol to manage a positive Covid-19 case within the cooperative.  We have revised the protocol for breakthrough infections (see below).  Many of us now are concerned about our risks of breakthrough infections.  We know that the risk of becoming severely ill from a breakthrough infection is low and occurs more frequently in groups at risk of  primary vaccine failure ( the immunocompromised and the elderly).  In Minnesota, 0.610% of infections have occurred in fully vaccinated individuals.
Dr Robert Wachter, chair of the Dept of Medicine at the University of California SF, says, regarding breakthrough infections, “ The risk is low enough to live life, high enough to be careful”.  Below is a link to an excellent article on what vaccinated people need to know about breakthrough infections.
Also, remember that influenza season normally begins in October and peaks around December to February.  There are concerns that we may have an increase in the number of cases this year due to the relaxing of social restrictions.  The revised VOC protocol for a breakthrough infection is outlined below. You can tap on the protocol below to increase the font size.

1. You have had a known exposure to someone with Covid-19

* You need to get tested 3-5 days after exposure with a PCR test (see link below)
* You do not need to “isolate” or “quarantine” after the exposure unless you develop
symptoms. Please try to limit your social interactions within the building until you
have tested negative.
* You need to wear a mask in all indoor public spaces (common spaces of Zvago).
You may want to mask if you are in any location with unvaccinated or vulnerable
* If you develop symptoms then you must follow the guidelines for a positive Covid
2. You have a negative PCR test
* You do not need to isolate or quarantine unless you develop symptoms.
3. You have a positive PCR test
* Stay home in isolation. Advise any close contacts who you were near during your
contagious period ( 2 days before the onset of symptoms or day of the test lasting
through the end of the 10th day after symptoms began or day of Covid-19 test).
* You should contact your Wing Captain and/or a VOC member to advise them of your
positive result. The Board will notify the Zvago community that we have a positive
case without identifying your identity unless you wish to share that information.
* Any close contacts need to follow the instructions in #1 above - masking, testing and
isolating if symptoms develop.
* Once ten days are up and it has been 24 hours after any fever (without using fever-
reducing drugs) then you can end home isolation.

Testing options:
Link to community testing sites:
Order home test (saliva kit)
Drive through Walgreens testing options:

Update July 31, 2021

The VOC met today to discuss recommendations to the marketing committee regarding the
plans for an event in August. Here is our recommendation:

The VOC, after reviewing the latest guidance from the CDC and the updated data for Ramsey
County, recommends that the August event be postponed at this time. We recognize the need
for this type of event as well as recognizing the need to protect the health and safety of our
residents and visitors. Here is our rationale for postponement:

Delta is different from previous strains. It is highly contagious, likely more severe and
breakthrough infections may be as transmissible as unvaccinated cases.

New CDC guidance recommends the use of masks in indoor public spaces in areas where
the transmission of Covid-19 is substantial or high.

Although the incidence of vaccinated persons becoming infected is a small percentage of cases, new evidence shows that vaccinated persons who are infected carry high levels of
virus in their noses and throats and may be able to transmit the virus to others.

Ramsey county has 54.33 cases per 100,000 persons which is substantial community transmission (last 7 days). This is a 109.9% increase from the previous week.

Residents of Ramsey County, using the CDC guidance, should wear masks in indoor public spaces due to the substantial community transmission.

As Minnesota Covid-19 cases are rising due to the Delta variant it is difficult to project if the guideline for masks will still be needed at the time of the event. Food and drink could not be served at the event if we recommend masking for attendees.

CDC guidance states that fully vaccinated persons might consider wearing a mask in public indoor settings, regardless of transmission level, if they or someone in their household is immunocompromised or is at risk for severe disease or if someone in their household is unvaccinated.

The VOC understands that it is difficult to communicate new guidance at a time when we were
hoping the pandemic was waning. The Delta variant has changed all of that. We know that vaccination is still providing good protection from severe disease and death - however, risk increases for the elderly, immunocompromised and those with underlying conditions


Washington Post

Update July 11, 2021

Covid-19 : When to get tested for Covid-19 if you are fully vaccinated

1. Get tested if you have symptoms. Vaccinated people can still become infected and
transmit the disease.

Commonly reported symptoms of the Delta variant:
- sore throat
- runny nose
- headache
Other symptoms:
- cough
- fever
- shortness of breath
- muscle aches
- diarrhea or abdominal pain
- lack of appetite or vomiting
- sudden loss of taste or smell

2. If you are immunocompromised check with your healthcare provider on when to get tested.

3. Get tested when directed to do so by your healthcare provider.

4. Get tested 1-3 days before returning from international travel and 3-5 days after your return.

Link to MDH chart on Covid-19 testing recommendations:

Where to get tested:
1. Call your healthcare provider to get a test at a clinic or hospital

2. Check the list of community testing sites on the MDH website (saliva tests)

3. Order a saliva test to complete at home (no cost) Link to order a test:

If you test positive for Covid-19 you need to stay home and away from others
even if you are fully vaccinated.

Link to guidance on what to do if you test positive:

Check with your healthcare provider if you are uncertain about the need for testing. You
can also use this CDC “self-checker” in this link:

Update July 1, 2021

 Here are the updated Board approved guidelines for use of the Park, the Social and the Fitness Room. Any or all of these guidelines may need to be changed depending on the progress of
vaccinations and the spread of the Delta variant in Minnesota.

 Please remember to stay home i
f you have any symptoms of a respiratory illness and advise visitors to stay home if they are ill.  Common symptoms when infected with the Delta variant are sore throat, headache and runny nose. The vaccines are highly protective against severe disease but there have been breakthrough infections in vaccinated people.

  Jonathan has reported that guest suite reservations are allowing for a night in-between
reservations. If you have reason to believe that your guest has been booked for the same day
as another guest’s departure please contact Jonathan for clarification.

Use of common areas:

1. Residents may have vaccinated visitors in the Park and Social. Unvaccinated children
must wear masks.
2. To improve ventilation, open windows and use the Vornado fan to blow air out of the room.
Air purifiers can be set to the maximum setting.
3. Please use disinfectant spray to clean all surfaces after your event is over.
4. Please advise visitors not to come if they have any respiratory symptoms.

Fitness Room

1. No restrictions on number of residents or households in the Fitness room. Please continue

to use the ventilation and cleaning protocols that are posted.
2. Vaccinated adults guests staying in the guest suite may use the Fitness room

Update June 3 , 2021

From Pat Steeber:

Masking Policy at ZSAP

 Because local vaccination rates have improved significantly over the past month, the Mask Mandate has been lifted in both Minneapolis and St. Paul.  The lifting of the mandate does not imply that there is no risk of infection but suggests that the risk is low among vaccinated individuals.  Masks are still required on buses, trains, airplanes, hospitals and schools.  Private businesses and establishments are free to set their own policies. 

The VOC now recommends that vaccinated visitors no longer need to be masked when they enter or leave the building, go to the host’s unit or to the guest room.  This, however, puts the burden of responsibility on the host members to ascertain whether their visitors are vaccinated.  All unvaccinated persons, even children over the age of 5, still need to be masked while going through our building. 

It is important to remember that ZSAP is still a vulnerable population and that breakthrough cases are occurring, especially among seniors.  The VOC continues to advise that the common spaces inside our building are reserved for members only.  Guests may be entertained on the patio.  If any non-member needs to be in the common spaces for any significant amount of time, we ask that they wear a mask

Update May 6, 2021

From Sandra Anderson:

Here is the latest Covid-19 guidance for Zvago-SAP, approved by the Board on May 3rd.  These new guidelines begin May 12th. Be sure to scroll down as there are two pages and a chart on safe activities.

To see this document click on the following link: BOD Approved Guidelines on May 3

Governor Walz has put out new guidelines today - the VOC will meet next week to discuss these.  Enjoy the sunshine and have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Update: April 27, 2021 

The VOC met Wednesday April 21st and will meet with the board on May 3rd.  We discussed the current Covid-19 situation in Minnesota and reviewed agenda items for our next meeting with the Board on May 3rd.

Minnesota Covid situation

  • positivity rate of infection at 5.9% as of the past 7 days.  Goal for “opening up” is below 5%
  • deaths are down most likely due to high vaccination rate for those 65 and older
  • hospitalizations are up putting stress again on healthcare workers. Average age of hospitalized patients has dropped to below age 60
  • 70-80% of new cases are due to the B1.1.7;Covid-19 variant which is 60-100% more transmissible and, some experts believe, causes more severe disease.
  • 56% of Minnesotans aged 16 and older have received at least one vaccine dose
  • On May 12th, all Zvago residents (and Jonny) will have reached full immunity status

We will be discussing Zvago mitigation measures with the Board on May 3rd.  We will update the community after that meeting about any changes to our current guidelines.  We appreciate everyone’s efforts to keep themselves and their neighbors safe.  

Guidance on masking:

Update : April 14, 2021

Review of recent updates from the VOC and the Board

* Fully immune members can gather in small, informal groups in the Social without masks

* Members can meet, unmasked, with outside visitors in their own units or outside on the patio

* Zvago committees can meet in person, taking into account that everyone on the committee
is comfortable with it and considering that you may have a member who is not fully
vaccinated. The decision should be unanimous and should continue on Zoom if not
everyone is in agreement to meet in person.

* Resumption of in-person social events, use of the guest suite and use of common spaces for
gatherings with outside visitors will be discussed at the next VOC/Board meeting on May 3rd.

Update : April 9, 2021

From Sandra Anderson:

Dear Zvago residents
I received an email today from the Minnesota Department of Health.  MDH has updated it’s guidelines on travel for vaccinated people.  Previously, the state was asking that domestic travelers get tested and quarantine after their return.  The guidelines now are consistent with the CDC guidelines for vaccinated domestic travelers.  
For fully vaccinated domestic travel:
1. Wear a mask (required on public transportation and airlines)
2. Use physical distancing and avoid crowds
3. Maintain good hand hygiene (hand washing)
On your return from domestic travel
1. Self-monitor for signs/symptoms of Covid-19
2. Get tested if you have symptoms 
Check the CDC website for information on international travel.  

MDH has updated the travel guidance Protect Yourself & Others: COVID-19 - Minnesota Dept. of Health ( and it is now consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


For additional information, please see Preventing COVID-19 Variant Spread During Travel Messaging (


Sandy Anderson

Update : March 22, 2021

I have been notified that Ecumen is working on setting up a vaccination clinic for the week of the 29th to give Covid-19 vaccinations to any resident who needs one and to Jonny. 

They would like to know how many residents are interested and what day of the week works best for them.

If you would like to try to get your vaccine here please email or call me and I will work with Jonny to get this set up.  It would be helpful if you could give me several mornings that would work for you (it sounds as if they prefer to do this in the morning).

 I hope that this truly works out for those who still need a vaccination.  It sounds promising.

Sandy Anderson

Update : March 17, 2021

  On March 15th Zvago SAP board members met with the VOC committee members to discuss the
latest guidance from the CDC and MDH.

  A report on this meeting , which includes new guidelines for our community, can be found in Committee Documents / VOC folder or by clicking on this link --> VOC report of 3/15/2021

Update : March 1st, 2021

The Covid-19 mitigation strategies from the state and the CDC have remained the same with
some new guidance on quarantine and travel.

Many Zvago residents have been vaccinated but there are still some who don’t qualify yet or have not been scheduled for a vaccination. We ask that residents continue to wear a mask and physical distance of at least 6 feet when in the
common spaces.

We are monitoring information to clarify guidelines for vaccinated individuals.

Here is a link to the Minnesota Vaccine Finder website:

For information on quarantine guidelines for travelers go to the latest VOC update of
2/22/21 in the Committee documents tab under “VOC” or by clicking on this link: Travel Info

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