St. Luke’s, Essentia Health Reporting Steady Rise in COVID-19 Hospitalizations

Both Healthcare Facilities Continue to Urge Unvaccinated Northland Residents to Receive Their COVID-19 Shot

DULUTH, Minn. – Essentia Health and St. Luke’s are both reporting a steady increase in patients hospitalized with COVID-19.

In both facilities, patients are coming in after being diagnosed with the more transmissible Delta variant of the virus.

“We need to all do this together. It isn’t about politics, it’s about people’s lives,” said Dr. Peter Henry with Essentia Health. “Our staff and frontline are very tired. It’s been extremely busy.”

While official numbers have not been provided as of Thursday by Essentia Health, at St. Luke’s, 13 patients have been hospitalized with severe COVID-19 symptoms in the past 30 days.

Four of the patients were vaccinated but had advanced age or immunocompromising conditions. Nine were not vaccinated.

At Essentia Health, the hospital’s Chief Medical Officer reports they’re currently able to keep up with the demand of their patients, however, staffing shortages continue to cause concern.

They say most of their COVID hospitalizations are within unvaccinated individuals.

Experts report the Delta variant of the virus has a similar transmissibility rate to the Chicken Pox.

“I’m just encouraging people to consider that one person in your life that you might impact by getting vaccinated, wearing your mask, washing your hands, if you’re ill, getting tested early, quarantining yourself, and not going into the workplace,” said Henry.

Essentia continues to offer COVID-19 vaccinations in primary care clinics for patients.

At St. Luke’s, patients can receive their shot at the COVID vaccination clinic located on the corner of 9th Avenue East and 1st Street in Duluth.

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