Coronavirus

UWS to Start School Year Masked Up as COVID Concerns Grow Again

72 Wisconsin counties are now experiencing high or very high disease activity, and the 7-day-average of new cases increased 40 percent in the past week.

SUPERIOR, Wis.- As stronger efforts continue nationwide to combat the spread of the Delta Variant and fight low vaccination rates, the University Of Wisconsin-Superior is joining the growing list of Northland colleges requiring people to mask up again. “And hopefully these masking requirements can help safeguard and ensure that we can have a vibrant campus this fall,” said Jordan Milan,…

UW Health to Study COVID Vaccine Effects in Children

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – UW Health will participate in a study of the effects of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine in young children. The Wisconsin State Journal reports UW Health’s American Family Children’s Hospital in Madison will be one of about 100 sites involved in the study. The project aims to enroll about 12,000 children under age 12. The Madison hospital hopes…

Minnesota Hits 70% Mark for 1st Vaccinations for 16 and up

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Minnesota has reached the milestone of vaccinating 70% of its population age 16 and older with at least one dose against GOVID-19. Gov. Tim Walz credits a recent rise in vaccination rates amid concerns over the highly contagious delta variant of the coronavirus and the state’s $100 rewards for people who get their first shot…

UW-Superior to Require Masks for All Students, Employees

SUPERIOR, Wis. – The University of Wisconsin Superior announced Thursday that it will require all students and staff to wear a face mask in all indoor spaces and facilities, regardless of vaccination status, beginning Monday, August 16. “We are striving to do everything within our power to deliver a top-quality educational experience while continuing to help slow or stop the…

HHS Joins Vaccine Trend, Orders Shots for Its Health Workers

WASHINGTON (AP) – The federal Department of Health and Human Services is requiring employees who provide care for patients to get their COVID-19 shots. Thursday’s order from HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra will affect more than 25,000 clinicians, researchers, contractors, trainees, and volunteers with the National Institutes of Health, the Indian Health Service, and the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps….

Minnesota Logs 5,600 Breakthrough COVID-19 Cases, 57 Deaths

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota has seen at least 5,599 breakthrough cases of COVID-19 and at least 57 deaths among fully vaccinated people, health officials reported Tuesday. The Minnesota Department of Health said it will begin reporting breakthrough case figures weekly as cases of the highly infectious delta variant surge across the state and country. But the department cautioned…

Duluth Black Woods Temporarily Closed Due to COVID-19

The restaurant says it will reopen Sunday, August 15

DULUTH, Minn. – DULUTH, Minn. – Black Woods Bar & Grill in Duluth announced Monday that it is temporarily closed after an employee tested positive for COVID-19. In a Facebook post, the restaurant says it will remain closed until Saturday, August 14. Both the Proctor and Two Harbors locations, as well as Tavern on the Hill, will remain open for…

Healthcare Workers Among Rally Against Vaccine Mandates Days after St. Luke’s, Essentia Announce Policies

Earlier in the week, St. Louis County Public Health pointed to those who still aren't vaccinated for the recent surge in community spread.

DULUTH, Minn.- Dozens of protesters from across the Northland, including several area healthcare workers, held a rally against COVID-19 vaccine mandates Saturday just days after Duluth hospitals announced new vaccine requirements, and as experts warn the country needs to boost vaccine numbers now more than ever. “This is an anti-mandate rally. I think we have people here that believe in…

Target Won’t Require Office Workers to Return Before 2022

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Target says it will not require its downtown Minneapolis headquarters employees to return to the office for the rest of the year, due to a surge in COVID-19 cases. Target has about 8,500 workers at its headquarters offices, making it the largest downtown employer. In an update sent to employees Friday, Target said it is still planning…

University of Minnesota Professors Call for Vaccine Mandate

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – A growing number of professors and staff at the University of Minnesota are calling on the school to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations this fall. Many faculty members say they are anxious about returning to the classroom as COVID-19 cases are surging due to the delta variant of the virus. More than 500 people have signed a letter supporting…

Wisconsin Governor: State Employees Must Wear Masks Indoors

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers’ administration has ordered state workers to wear masks when they’re working indoors, as COVID-19 cases continue to surge. The Department of Administration issued the mandate on July 30. It goes into effect on Thursday. Under the order, all state employees, contractors, and interns must wear masks in all indoor spaces in state…

St. Scholastica, Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College to Require Masks Effective Today

DULUTH, Minn. – The College of St. Scholastica and Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College announced Wednesday that they will be reinstating mask mandates at both of the colleges beginning Thursday, August 5. Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College say they will require “all employees, students, vendors, and visitors to wear masks inside campus buildings.” “From the very…

Essentia Health and St. Luke’s Requiring Employees to Get COVID-19 Vaccine

Essentia Health and St. Luke's, two of Duluth’s largest employers, are announcing that all of their workers are now required to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

DULUTH, Minn.– Essentia Health and St. Luke’s, two of Duluth’s largest employers, are announcing that all of their workers are now required to get the COVID-19 vaccine. This comes as the more infectious delta variant continues to spread across the country. This new mandate coming down from Essentia Health and St. Luke’s hospitals will impact thousands of people. Across the…

Essentia Health to Require COVID Vaccine as Condition of Employment

DULUTH, Minn. – Essentia Health announced Wednesday that it will require all staff to be vaccinated against COVID as a condition of their employment. “Employees must receive their first dose of vaccine by Oct. 1 and their second dose in a two-dose series by Nov. 1,” the hospital wrote in a statement. Additionally, vaccination will be also be required to…

Lake Superior College to Require Masks Beginning Wednesday

DULUTH, Minn. – Lake Superior College will once again be requiring masks or facial coverings to be worn in public indoor settings on all four campus locations beginning Wednesday. Lake Superior College President Patricia Rogers wrote in a memo on Tuesday, “The health and safety of our campus community remain among our absolute highest priorities. As we prepare for the…

City of Duluth to Require Masks in City Facilities Beginning Wednesday

DULUTH, Minn. – The City of Duluth says starting Wednesday masks will be required for staff and the public in all city facilities. “Earlier today, an email was sent to staff alerting them of this change,” Chief Administrative Officer Noah Schuchman said. “This is not a decision that we make lightly and is a short-term step which we feel is…

NYC Will Require Vaccination Proof for Indoor Dining, Gyms

(AP Photo/Kathy Willens,File) NEW YORK (AP) — New York City will soon require proof of COVID-19 vaccinations for anyone who wants to dine indoors at a restaurant, see a performance or go to the gym, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday, making it the first big city in the U.S. to impose such restrictions. The new requirement, which will be…

University of St. Thomas to Require COVID Vaccine for All Students, Staff for Fall Semester

(courtesy: Fox 9)   ST. PAUL, Minn. (FOX 9) – The University of St. Thomas announced it will require students, faculty, and staff to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before returning to campus this fall. According to the university, the decision was made due to the spread of the delta variant. Additionally, following recent CDC guidance, the university will still…

St. Louis County Recommending Masks in Indoor, Public Places

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Minn. – St. Louis County public health officials say they are recommending face masks be worn in indoor, public places regardless of vaccination status due to substantial transmission of COVID-19 throughout the county. “We are as frustrated as anyone, but more than that, we are concerned by this growth in cases,” said Amy Westbrook, St. Louis County…

Target Requiring Employees to Mask up in Areas With High COVID-19 Infection Rates

MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) – Beginning Tuesday, Target says it will require employees who work in stores in certain areas to mask up again. The Minneapolis-based retailer will require masks for employees at stores in areas with a substantial or high risk of transmission of COVID-19, as defined by the CDC, according to a statement. Currently, over 40 Minnesota counties are…

CDC Team: ‘War Has Changed’ as Delta Variant Dangers Emerge

(AP) – New evidence showing the delta variant is as contagious as chickenpox has prompted U.S. health officials to consider changing advice on how the nation fights the coronavirus. Recommending masks for everyone and requiring vaccines for doctors and other health care providers are among measures the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is considering. That’s according to internal documents…

Walz Noncommittal on Mask Requirement in Schools After CDC Changes

(FOX 9) – Gov. Tim Walz was noncommittal Tuesday when asked if he would go further than new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and impose a new mask mandate for Minnesota schools. Walz removed his statewide mask mandate this spring as vaccinations rates grew and COVID-19 cases receded. At the time, the CDC said vaccinated people…

Essentia Health President Discusses New CDC Guidelines, Push to Vaccinate the Unvaccinated

Dr. Jon Pryor, President of Essentia Health, Talks Vaccinations and Routine Medical Care

DULUTH, Minn. – Minnesota health officials are warning the highly contagious Delta variant of COVID-19 now accounts for more than 75 percent of the state’s new cases. “This is turning out to be a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” said Dr. Jon Pryor, President of Essentia Health. “If you’re vaccinated, you still could get COVID, odds are pretty low.” Pryor says…

Mayo Clinic Joins Others in Requiring Worker Vaccinations

ROCHESTER, Minn. (AP) – Mayo Clinic says it will require employees to be vaccinated against the coronavirus by mid-September, becoming one of the latest health systems to do so as delta variant cases rise around the country. The Rochester-based medical system says the “vast majority” of its employees are already vaccinated. But it says all employees must be fully vaccinated…

CDC Expected to Backpedal on Some Masking Guidelines

(AP) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was expected to backpedal Tuesday on its masking guidelines and recommend that even vaccinated people wear masks indoors in parts of the U.S. where the coronavirus is surging, a federal official said. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to discuss details of the new…

American Academy of Pediatrics Recommends Universal Masking in Schools for Everyone Older Than 2

(CNN) – The American Academy of Pediatrics released new Covid-19 guidance for schools on Monday that supports in-person learning and, among other things, recommends universal masking in schools for everyone over the age of 2. “The AAP believes that, at this point in the pandemic, given what we know about low rates of in-school transmission when proper prevention measures are…

Fully Vaccinated Americans Can Enter Canada as of Mid-August

(AP Photo/Toby Talbot,File) TORONTO (AP) – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada could start allowing fully vaccinated Americans into Canada as of mid-August for non-essential travel and should be in a position to welcome fully vaccinated travelers from all countries by early September. Trudeau spoke with leaders of Canada’s provinces on Thursday and released a readout of the call. The…

Minnesota COVID-19 Audit Sought by Lawmakers Looks Doubtful

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Minnesota’s independent legislative auditor says he doesn’t have the resources to satisfy a request by lawmakers for a comprehensive study of the state’s COVID-19 response. Legislative Auditor Jim Nobles tells Minnesota Public Radio he’s ready to hear lawmakers out. But he says the scope of the request, combined with other projects his office is already…

Coronavirus Infects Vaccinated Leader at Florida Condo Site

(AP Photo) MIAMI (AP) – A vaccinated Miami-Dade county commissioner who helped other local officials in Surfside following the collapse of a condominium building has tested positive for COVID-19. Commission Chairman Jose “Pepe” Diaz says he and his chief of staff came down with flu-like symptoms Sunday and tested positive for the virus the same day. Diaz has been participating…

Vaccinated Teachers and Students Don’t Need Masks, CDC Says

(Richard Chung via AP) NEW YORK (AP) – U.S. health officials say vaccinated teachers and students don’t need to wear masks inside school buildings. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced the new guidelines Friday. The changes come after a growing national vaccination campaign in which children as young as 12 are eligible to get shots, as well as…

Animals at Wisconsin Zoos to Receive COVID-19 Vaccine

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Some animals at the zoos in Madison and Milwaukee will receive an experimental COVID-19 vaccine. Animals susceptible to respiratory disease are expected to be inoculated with the vaccine authorized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture by late July. No COVID-19 infections have been found in animals at the Milwaukee County Zoo or the Henry Vilas Zoo…

MDH: Unvaccinated People Should Get Tested for COVID-19 After Any Summer Travel

(FOX 9) – Minnesota health officials have outlined recommendations for COVID-19 testing this summer, both for vaccinated and unvaccinated people. According to the Minnesota Department of Health, while case numbers have dropped, the virus is still circulating in communities. Health officials reported 81 new COVID-19 cases and seven more deaths statewide on Wednesday. Health officials urge eligible Minnesotans to get…

Biden Urges Shots for Young Adults as Variant Concern Grows

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. government is stepping up efforts to get younger Americans vaccinated for COVID-19 amid growing concern about the spread of a new variant that threatens to set the country back in the months ahead. The push is underway as the delta variant has come to represent more than 20% of coronavirus infections in the U.S. in…

Biden Promotes Milestone of 300M Vaccine Shots in 150 Days

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is marking another milestone in his quest to bring the COVID-19 pandemic under control. Biden announced Friday that 300 million COVID-19 vaccine shots have been administered in the 150 days since he took office on Jan. 20. Biden is crediting scientists, companies, the American people and his whole-of-government effort. The president noted that 65%…

Health Officials Tracking New COVID-19 Variant in Wisconsin

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin Department of Health Services is tracking a new variant of COVID-19 with more than two dozen cases in the state. The Delta strain has been elevated to a “variant of concern” in Wisconsin. The strain is fueling the coronavirus surge in the United Kingdom and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention…

US COVID-19 Deaths Hit 600,000, Equal to Yearly Cancer Toll

(AP) – The U.S. death toll from COVID-19 has topped 600,000, even as the vaccination drive has slashed daily cases and deaths and allowed the country to emerge from the gloom. That’s according to the toll recorded by Johns Hopkins University. The number of lives lost is greater than the population of Baltimore or Milwaukee. It is about equal to…

Vaccine Requirements: A List of Minnesota Colleges and Universities’ Policies

(FOX 9) – The University of Minnesota announced Monday that vaccinations won’t be required for students across its five campuses when school resumes this fall. The policy aligns with the vast majority of Minnesota colleges and universities, which won’t require vaccinations for students when they return this fall. Four institutions will require vaccines for on-campus students next school year and for some…

UK’s Johnson Delays Lockdown Easing for England by 4 Weeks

LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has confirmed that the next planned relaxation of coronavirus restrictions in England will be delayed by four weeks until July 19, as a result of the spread of the delta variant. In a press briefing Monday, Johnson said he is “confident that we won’t need more than four weeks” as millions of…

U.S. Donating 500 Million COVID-19 Vaccines to Developing Countries

The 500 Million Vaccines will be Distributed Throughout 2021 and 2022

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) – Health officials and experts around the world are welcoming a U.S. plan to donate 500 million more COVID-19 vaccines to developing countries. But the celebrations Thursday came with hesitation. For instance, when exactly will those vaccines reach regions left behind in the global race and that are feeling the bite right now with deadly…

Minnesota COVID-19 Test Positivity Rate Continues to Fall as Vaccinations Increase

ST. PAUL, Minn. (FOX 9) – As COVID-19 vaccinations increase in Minnesota, the positivity rate continues to decline, according to the latest data released by the state health department. The Minnesota Department of Health reported 257 new cases of COVID-19 and eight more deaths Friday. The state has now seen daily case counts under 300 for five of the last seven days….

Minnesota Reports 238 New COVID-19 Cases, 10 Deaths Thursday

(FOX 9) – Minnesota health officials reported 238 new cases of COVID-19 and 10 more deaths Thursday. The state has now seen daily case counts under 300 for four of the last seven days. The 238 newly reported cases were out of 9,706 tests, a 2.5% positivity rate, according to the latest data from the Minnesota Department of Health. Minnesota’s seven-day average…

COVID-19 Hospitalizations Remain Steady at Essentia Health

Dr. Jon Pryor, President of Essentia Health, Talks Hospitalizations, Vaccinations, and Summer Safety

DULUTH, Minn. – Over 46 percent of the eligible population in Minnesota is fully vaccinated against COVID-19. In Wisconsin, over 44 percent of the eligible population is fully vaccinated. While the numbers continue to climb, health officials say there is still plenty of work to be done. Dr. Jon Pryor is the President of Essentia Health in Duluth. Pryor says…