Health

COVID-19 Wave Overwhelms Rural Hospitals Short On ICU Beds

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – The case of a rural Minnesota man who waited two days for an ICU bed and later died is among several examples that have frustrated officials in rural hospitals whose facilities are overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients. Bob Cameron spent two days in his hometown hospital in Hallock, Minnesota, where caregivers searched nonstop for space in a larger…

St. Luke’s Raises Awareness During ‘Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month’

DULUTH, Minn. – The birthing center at St. Luke’s in Duluth is looking to remind grieving parents they are not alone during this Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. Statistics show 1 in 4 families will suffer this type of loss at some point in their pregnancy journey. St. Luke’s looks to help families grieve by offering memento boxes with…

St. Luke’s Birthing Center Reminds Grieving Parents They’re Not Alone

October is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month

DULUTH, Minn. – Many parents who are grieving the loss of an infant feel like they are alone and don’t have anyone who understands what they are going through. During the National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, St. Luke’s is reminding parents they’re ready and willing to help. Statistics show one in four families will suffer a pregnancy or…

Gov. Walz Announces Gift Cards, Shot at Scholarships for Vaccinated 12-17 Year-Olds

Those between the ages of 12 to 17 can get a $200 VISA gift card if they get vaccinated, and a shot at one of 5 $100k scholarships

ST. PAUL, Minn.- Governor Tim Walz just rolled out a new incentive program for Minnesota pre-teens and teens to get the COVID vaccine. The program is called “Kids Deserve a Shot.” Those between the ages of 12 to 17 can get a $200 VISA gift card if they get vaccinated. The Governor says with covid-19 cases surging in the state…

Walz to Deploy National Guard to Help Ease COVID-19 Surge

ROBBINSDALE, Minn. (AP) – Gov. Tim Walz says he’ll use the Minnesota National Guard to help alleviate staffing shortages at care facilities that are struggling with the surge in COVID-19 cases. The governor announced plans Friday at North Memorial Health Hospital in Robbinsdale for alleviating bottlenecks caused by staffing shortages that prevent hospitals from moving recovering patients to transitional and…

St. Luke’s, Gateway Clinic to Open New Surgery Center in Moose Lake

MOOSE LAKE, Minn. – St. Luke’s and Gateway Clinic have partnered up to create a new multi-million dollar surgery center in Moose Lake called Northern Lakes Surgery Center. It’s happening in the former Shopko building on County Road 10. Project officials say the new facility will allow people in the Moose Lake area to stay closer to home and still…

Beds, Staff at Duluth Hospitals Stretched Thin Under St. Louis County’s COVID Surge

COVID patients take up 59 of the hospital beds at Essentia St. Mary's Medical Center -- the highest they've seen since last winter. At St. Luke's, 25% of the ICU beds are filled with COVID patients.

DULUTH, Minn.- St. Louis County continues to see an uptick of COVID-19 cases, while the country overall is seeing a dip. The surge is continuing to fatigue health systems according to experts, as they urge more to get vaccinated and mask up. “Now, while much of the country experiences a decrease in COVID transmission following the latest peak, there’s some…

Lake County Ambulance Service Provides Update on Supplies, Staff

Right now, Shepersky said they're not facing a critical shortage of workers, but losing even one employee could impact services.

TWO HARBORS, Minn.- Lake County Ambulance service, covering Two Harbors and Silver Bay is seeing higher demand for services. According to Executive Director Julia Shepersky, ambulance medical supplies PPE, and certain medications are all in high demand, making them harder to get at times. Right now, Shepersky said they’re not facing a critical shortage of workers, but losing even one…

Nursing Shortage Affecting St. Ann’s, Lake Superior College’s CNA Program

60 people are employed at St. Ann's Residence, when 70 is what is considered full staff.

DULUTH, Minn.- While there’s been much about pandemic-fueled stress on Minnesota hospitals, the state’s long-term care industry is now facing a workforce shortage like no other. Now schools like Lake Superior College are struggling to graduate students into more entry-level healthcare positions to fill the void. “There is a huge need locally, regionally, across the state as well as nationally…

Northland Native Releasing New Book After Battle With Breast Cancer

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

DULUTH, Minn. – One Northland woman is using this Breast Cancer Awareness Month to reach out to others and share her story of survival, healing, and learning. In 2015, Natalie Zeleznikar was 48 when she was diagnosed with Stage 1 breast cancer. She’s now 55 and continues to heal mentally, physically, and spiritually. “I had no breast cancer in my…

13th Annual Suicide Awareness Memorial Walk in Carlton

104 people showed up to remember those who passed, and those they left behind.

CARLTON, Minn. — Over 100 people gathered Saturday morning for the 13th annual Suicide Awareness Memorial Walk in Carlton, to remember those lost to, or touched by suicide, and raise awareness towards prevention as well. The Carlton County Suicide Prevention Task Force has hosted this event for the past 12 years. With this year being the 13th, it has grown…

Minnesota Long-Term Care Facilities have 23,000 Job Openings

Leaders from senior living organizations throughout the state say they have about 23,000 job openings, about 20 percent of the workforce at full strength.

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – While much has been made about the stress that COVID-19 has placed on Minnesota hospitals, the state’s long-term care industry says it is facing its worst-ever workforce shortage. Leaders from senior living organizations throughout the state say they have about 23,000 job openings. That is about 20 percent of the workforce at full strength. Leaders…

Texas Clinics Cancel Abortions after Court Reinstates Ban

The White House on Saturday had no immediate comment after a federal appeals court reinstated the Texas law known as Senate Bill 8.

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) – Texas abortion clinics are canceling appointments they had booked during a 48-hour reprieve from the nation’s most restrictive abortion law. The White House on Saturday had no immediate comment after a federal appeals court reinstated the Texas law known as Senate Bill 8. The law bans abortions in Texas once cardiac activity is detected, usually around…

Doctors Say Flu Shot is Extremely Vital in a COVID-19 World

Doctors with MedExpress Recommend Patients Receive Both the COVID-19 Vaccine, and a Flu Shot this Season

DULUTH, Minn. – Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re also approaching one of the most critical seasons for the health of Americans – flu season. Although COVID-19 safety measures, such as wearing a mask, staying home, social distancing, and handwashing contributed to a decline in 2020-2021 flu incidence, flu viruses are constantly changing and it’s not unusual for new flu viruses…

LSC Holds Flu Shot Clinic

Roughly 80-100 students had registered to receive the shot helping to minimize the hospital intake because of the virus.

DULUTH, Minn. — Lake Superior College held their second annual flu shot clinic Tuesday morning. The organization Lead MN is partnered with Hennepin Healthcare to get students the flu vaccine at the college. Roughly 80-100 students had registered to receive the shot helping to minimize the hospital intake because of the virus. “And also help students who are going into…

DECC Expands Covid-19 Test Site Location

As Covid-19 cases continue to rise in the Northland public health officials are seeing a similar trend.

DULUTH, Minn. — As Covid-19 cases continue to rise in the Northland public health officials are seeing a similar trend. “We are about where we were at the beginning of November last year before we had the vaccine and we were going into our peak,” St. Louis County Public Health Division Director, Amy Westbrook says. That’s why Minnesota Governor Tim…

Northland Health Experts Warn of ‘Severe’ Flu Season to Come, On Top of Pandemic

The shadow looming over all this, according to experts, is the stress healthcare systems nationwide are already under.

DULUTH, Minn.- According to Northland health experts, the outlook for this year’s flu season is not good, as they prepare for a one-two punch of the flu and the ongoing COVID-19 surge. “A lot of people are back out doing their normal activities, we’re not in quarantine so those factors will play a role in what could be a severe…

Duluth Police Join ‘Pink Patch Project’ For Breast Cancer Awareness Month

The public is encouraged to purchase patches to help raise money for the American Cancer Society.

DULUTH, Minn. – For the first time, the Duluth Police Department is joining the Pink Patch Project for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. During the month of October, officers will be wearing commemorative pink patches on their uniforms, along with other law enforcement agencies in the state. Police Chief Mike Tusken says it’s a way to raise awareness in conversation while…

St. Luke’s Employees Booster Up; Eligible Public Starts Tuesday

People over 65, adults with certain underlying medical health conditions, and those who work in environments with increased risk of COVID-19 are eligible for booster shots.

DULUTH, Minn.- Pfizer booster shots have begun going into the arms of healthcare workers in the Northland, as eligible members of the public start getting those shots Tuesday. “I think it’s really a great step, it’s gonna help with everything that’s coming this winter and it’s just gonna help keep our community that much safer,” said Kelly Zapp, St. Luke’s…

Huntington’s Disease Society of America Hosting ‘Hope Walk’ in Duluth

Duluth Team Hope Walk is Happening Saturday, Sept. 25 Beginning at 11 a.m. at Endion Park

DULUTH, Minn. – Team Hope is Huntington’s Disease Society of America’s (HDSA) largest national grassroots fundraising event. Thousands of families, friends, co-workers, neighbors, and communities walk together each year to support HDSA’s fight to improve the lives of people affected by HD and their families. This year’s walk is happening Saturday, Sept. 25 at 11 a.m. at Endion Park, located…

Biden Easing Restrictions for Foreign Travel, Requiring Vaccines

U.S. Foreign Travel Restrictions will Begin to Ease in November

WASHINGTON (AP) – The White House says President Joe Biden will ease foreign travel restrictions into the U.S. beginning in November and allow foreign nationals into the country if they have proof of vaccination and a negative COVID-19 test. The new rules replace a hodgepodge of restrictions that had barred non-citizens who had been in certain countries in the prior…

Pfizer: COVID-19 Vaccine Works in Children Ages 5 to 11

The Vaccine Maker Plans to Seek Authorization in U.S., Britain, and Europe

(Associated Press) – Pfizer says its COVID-19 vaccine works for children ages 5 to 11. The vaccine maker said Monday it plans to seek authorization for this age group soon in the U.S., Britain, and Europe. The vaccine made by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech already is available for anyone 12 and older. But many parents are anxiously awaiting…

Itasca County Health Officials Concerned as Delta Variant Spreads

Vaccination Rates Continue to Climb, but Health Officials Say More Work Needs to be Done

ITASCA COUNTY, Minn. – Health officials in Itasca County are looking to get ahead of the spread as the Delta variant of COVID-19 is being passed through community transmission. “We have to get back to basics. Everyone is tired of COVID and no one wants to be doing this anymore, but we do know what works,” said Kayla Scrivner, COO…

Essentia Urologist Explains Importance of Screening for Prostate Cancer

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

DULUTH, Minn. – One in nine men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. Dr. Nathan Hoffman, a urologist with Essentia Health in Duluth, explains why it’s so vital to begin routine screening at the right time in your life. “In general, if you’re starting to feel the symptoms, you’re a little bit later on the scale of…

COVID Concerns Forcing Chisholm’s K-3rd Graders Back To Distance Learning

CHISHOLM, Minn. – An “increasing” number of COVID cases is forcing some elementary grades in the Chisholm School District to learn from home for at least the next two weeks. The changes are affecting K-3rd graders at Vaughan Steffensrud Elementary School, according to Adrian Norman, the district’s superintendent. Norman confirms St. Louis County health officials raised the alarm about the…

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Dr. Ross Perko, a Pediatric Oncologist with Essentia Health, Discusses Topics Related to Childhood Cancer

DULUTH, Minn. – Childhood Cancer Awareness Month (CCAM) is recognized every September by childhood cancer organizations around the world. With a goal to increase awareness and raise funds for those affected by childhood cancer, the American Childhood Cancer Organization encourages everyone to Go Gold® during September in honor and in memory of kids with cancer. Click here to learn more from…

Hundreds in Twin Ports Walk to End Alzheimer’s Saturday

According to the event website, more than 80% of the $165,000 goal has been raised as of Sunday evening.

DULUTH, Minn.- The Walk to End Alzheimer’s returned to the Twin Ports this weekend, raising awareness and money for research of a cure to end the disease affecting more than 6 million Americans. A sea of purple flooded the Lakewalk Saturday. Roughly 400 people who either lost a loved one to Alzheimer’s, are currently battling the disease, or are caregivers…

Twin Ports ‘Walk to End Alzheimer’s’ Happening Saturday

The Walk Begins at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021

DULUTH, Minn. – Residents of the Twin Ports are encouraged to join the Walk to End Alzheimer’s on Saturday, Sept. 11 along the Lakewalk in Duluth. Check-in begins at 1 p.m. at the DECC. The opening ceremony of the Walk begins at 2 p.m. outside the DECC with the walk to follow along the Lakewalk. This year, the Alzheimer’s Association has…

Essentia Radiologist Expresses Importance of Annual Breast Cancer Screening

Annual Mammograms Should Begin for High-Risk Women at Age 40

DULUTH, Minn. – On the heels of Sen. Klobuchar’s breast cancer announcement, local oncologists and radiologists are taking time to express the importance of routine mammograms. At Essentia Health in Duluth, numbers are returning to normal after a pause on routine screenings from March through May in 2020. Roughly 200 mammograms are performed each day throughout Essentia facilities. The American…

Northland Hospitals Near Capacity as COVID Cases Surge, Vaccination Rate Lags

There were 273 new cases in the County last week, and St. Mary's Hospital saw the number of patients with severe COVID cases double over the past two weeks.

DULUTH, Minn.- Local health leaders say the Delta Variant is beginning to overwhelm their systems just like last year. Now it’s being fueled by the amount of people in the region who refuse to get vaccinated, as healthcare workers begin to burn out — continuing to fight the virus for far longer than they anticipated last year. “We were moving…

National Weather Service Helps Amid Wildfire Season

The weather service continues to utilize these tools in helping alert people of unsafe air quality. 

DULUTH, Minn. —  The Greenwood fire continues to spread, and smoke from the wildfire affects air quality in surrounding areas. The National Weather Service continues playing a massive role in monitoring wildfire smoke across the state of Minnesota. By using satellite imaging and air quality sensors, the National Weather Service has been working closely with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency…

‘Get Ready’ Notifications Issued For Portion Of Gunflint Trail As Wildfires Grow

BWCAW –  The Cook County Sheriff’s Office and Gunflint fire personnel are alerting people along a northern portion of the Gunflint Trail to “get ready” for potential evacuations because of growing wildfires in the BWCAW. The pre-evacuation alert is for property owners from Seagull Lake to the south end of Loon Lake. Sheriff Pat Eliasen posted on social media Monday…

Itasca County K-12 Schools ‘Strongly Recommending’ Masks this Year

Itasca County has seen 45 new positive cases in the last 7 days, according to health officials.

GRAND RAPIDS, Minn.- Many K thru 12 schools in Itasca County are now strongly recommending students mask up for the school year, as the County deals with the highest level of community transmission of any Northeastern Minnesota county. Itasca County has seen 45 new positive cases in the last 7 days, according to health officials. School leaders say they can…

Essentia Offering 3rd COVID Vaccine to Immunocompromised Patients

DULUTH, Minn.– A third COVID vaccine dose was approved by the FDA at this time for patients who are moderately to severely immunocompromised. Essentia Health announced today that they will be taking part in providing this third dose to those who are immunocompromised, and suggest receiving a dose of the same vaccine product patients received earlier, 8 months after their…

FDA Authorizes Additional Vaccine Doses for Some Immunocompromised People

The Authorization Would Impact Roughly Three Percent of the U.S. Population

DULUTH, Minn. – Those with organ transplants, a cancer diagnosis, or an immune disorder could be the first people to receive a third shot of the COVID-19 vaccine. This, after U.S. health regulators have authorized an extra dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines in people with weakened immune systems to better protect them from the virus. “After two shots,…

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….

Lake Superior Community Health Center Celebrates Health Center Week with Block Party

The block party also offered free COVID vaccines and health screenings at its Denfeld location in Duluth.

DULUTH, Minn.- It’s National Health Center Week, and the Lake Superior Community Health Center partied outside to celebrate. Along with free produce from Second Harvest Food Bank, games, and music, the block party also offered free COVID vaccines and health screenings at its Denfeld location in Duluth. Organizers say after a difficult pandemic, they hope to offer a safe space…

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,…

St. Louis County Public Health Brings COVID Vaccine Clinics to College Campuses

DULUTH, Minn.- The college of St. Scholastica in Duluth and St. Louis County Public health is teaming up to make getting the COVID vaccine more convenient with on-campus vaccine clinics. “So we really want to be able to provide vaccines right where they are at,” said Public Health Nurse Emily Lian. “That’s kinda been public health’s perspective on vaccines in…

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…

St. Luke’s Announces COVID-19 Vaccine Policy For All Workers

DULUTH, Minn. — St. Luke’s announced late Wednesday that all of its employees, vendors, volunteers and board members will be required to get the COVID-19 vaccine completed by Oct. 1. The only exception to the rule involves employees who can’t take the shot for medical or religious reasons.   Those individuals need to file an exemption by Sept. 1 and also…

City of Duluth to Require Masks in Public City Buildings, Fire Stations Close to Public

While the city plans to keep its buildings open to everyone, Duluth Fire stations are the exception. They are now closed to the public again, just days after reopening.

DULUTH, Minn.- The City Of Duluth is bringing back its mask mandate for all city employees and the public inside all city-owned buildings — regardless of a person’s vaccination status. “Personally it is frustrating to be at this point,” Duluth Mayor Emily Larson said. “I know that many of us would like this to be over.” “Last week I didn’t…

St. Louis County Recommends Masks Indoors Again, Blames Unvaccinated for COVID Spike

Meanwhile UMD is requiring masks for all indoor buildings.

DULUTH, Minn.- Masks are making a comeback, with some Northland businesses and even UMD requiring them in their buildings. Now St. Louis County Public Health leaders are recommending everyone mask up indoors vaccinated or not — pointing to those who still haven’t gotten the COVID shot for the surge in community spread. “It’s frustrating. It’s unfortunate,” said Amy Westbrook, Public…

Experts Warn Of Health Impacts from Smoky Conditions

FARGO, N.D.– The extension of those air quality alerts means those smoky conditions are going to stick around longer in the Northland. Local medical experts say to “use common sense and avoid prolonged exposure outdoors”. Children, the elderly, and people with heart or lung disease are particularly susceptible to ash particles and should take extra precautions over the next few…

St. Luke’s Rejuvenation Center Welcomes New Massage Therapy Services

The Rejuvenation Center Offers Medical Spa Services, Massage Therapy, Skin Care Products and Treatments

DULUTH, Minn. – St. Luke’s Rejuvenation Center has a new option for people looking for relaxation, eliminating stress and reducing pain. Licensed Massage Therapist Megan Martin is now offering massage therapy. Massage benefits can include: • Reducing stress and increasing relaxation • Reducing pain and muscle soreness and tension • Improving circulation, energy, and alertness • Lowering heart rate and…

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…

Poor Air Quality Continues to Affect Health

DULUTH, Minn.- The current air quality alert in the Northland is moderate to unhealthy for sensitive groups, while other parts of Northern Minnesota are experiencing very unhealthy conditions. Medical experts advise people stay indoors and limit their physical exercise. “This predominantly affects high risk population. Patients that are under 18 or over 65,” said allergy specialist Dr. Minto Porter. “COPD,…