Essentia Health President Urges Residents to Follow Guidelines as COVID Hospitalizations Increase

Dr. Jon Pryor, President, Essentia Health, Urges Northlanders to Be Smart, Mask Up, Follow COVID Safety Guidelines

DULUTH, Minn. – The coronavirus is making headlines daily, however, as COVID fatigue begins to set in, Dr. Jon Pryor, President of Essentia Health, is urging Northland residents to remain vigilant, and exercise extreme caution as the virus begins to take a toll on local hospitals.

“Things are going okay, but things are tight. Our resources are being challenged, and we need help right now from the public,” said Pryor.

Pryor and his team at Essentia Health are urging residents to do their part in the fight against COVID-19.

Essentia Health is currently dealing with a shortage of workers and hospital beds as COVID-19 cases rise, and the number of patients admitted to the hospital increases.

“Just because of community transmission, we have workers out with the virus right now,” said Pryor.

Pryor says the positivity rate per 100 tests is at 13 percent. He says the rate should be under five percent if we were to be trending in the right direction.

Pryor is asking residents to mask up, social distance, avoid large gatherings, and do your part to help limit the spread.

“This is a huge, huge deal. There are a lot of people who have long-lasting effects on their organs,” said Pryor.

Pryor says even children who contract the virus and appear to be asymptomatic can easily transmit the virus to older, more vulnerable adults.

“We need the entire public to take this seriously,” said Pryor.

Unless people are in your bubble and you know they have quarantined for 14 days, he suggests avoiding gatherings of any size this holiday season.

“It’s been eight months since I’ve hugged my grandkids. I normally have a large holiday party, and it’s only going to be my wife and me this year,” said Pryor.

Pryor urges all Northlanders to receive the flu vaccination this year to help limit the burden on hospitals.


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