Health

Carlton County Offering Drive-Thru Flu Vaccinations

CARLTON, Minn.– With the concern of flu season now during the COVID-19 pandemic, Carlton County is offering easy access to influenza vaccinations. The county puts on a flu vaccine clinic every year and while this year’s may look a bit different due to the pandemic, it’s still just as important as ever says county public health officials to get vaccinated….

St. Louis County Sees Highest Daily Jump in COVID-19 Cases; Many Linked to College Students

Of Friday's 73 new cases, 19 involve college-aged individuals.

DULUTH, Minn.- St. Louis County reported it’s highest jump in COVID-19 cases Friday, and what’s alarming health officials — much of those new cases are college students. On Friday the county reported 73 new confirmed cases; the previous highest jump was 50 just last week. With this spike, there were more cases over one day than there were over the entire…

Duluth Fire Department Brings Awareness To Fire Prevention

In Duluth, there were more than 30 kitchen fires in 2019.

DULUTH, Minn. – October is fire prevention month. Every year members of the Duluth Fire Department visit area schools to teach students about potential fire dangers. The Duluth Fire Department is hoping by getting the message out community members and students will continue to think about fire prevention all year long. Kitchen-related incidents are one of the most common causes…

Grant Helps UMD Look Into Impacts Plastic Has On Lake Superior

DULUTH, Minn. – A professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biology at UMD recently received a grant for more than $100,000 from the Minnesota Sea Grant to look further into the impacts plastic has on Lake Superior and the St. Louis River Estuary. The research will provide solutions for unanswered questions such as how plastic in Lake Superior can…

University Of Minnesota Medical School Of Duluth Tests Campus Sewage For COVID-19

DULUTH, Minn. – Several colleges and universities have already seen a large number of COVID-19 cases hit their campuses. Now researchers from the University of Minnesota Medical School of Duluth are conducting a study to further examine COVID-19 through sewage waste. A couple of times a week, wastewater from residence halls on both U of M Duluth and Twin Cities…

OB-GYN Offices Seeing Increase In Pregnant Patients

Patient visits for prenatal care are up by more than 30% at St. Luke's Hospital compared to August of 2019.

DULUTH, Minn. – While more people are staying home due to the global pandemic, St. Luke’s Hospital is seeing a surge in the number of newly pregnant moms visiting for prenatal care. Patient visits are up by more than 30%  compared to August of 2019. Pregnant moms going in for regular check-ups can be very beneficial for helping to keep…

Minnesota Ovarian Cancer Alliance Hosting Virtual Program, Fundraiser

Shine Teal for MOCA is Happening Friday, Sept. 25, 2020

DULUTH, Minn. – Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Minnesota Ovarian Cancer Alliance (MOCA) will be shining a light on ovarian cancer in new ways to help support and raise awareness for Ovarian Cancer Awareness month this September. The statewide nonprofit is hosting Shine Teal for MOCA, a free virtual event and auction, on Friday, Sept. 25 at 7:00 p.m….

Visitors Look To State Parks For Fall Activities

Visitation is up compared to last fall.

CARLTON, Minn. – Fall is typically a busy time for many state parks and Jay Cooke State Park is already seeing a spike in visitors looking to enjoy the start of the fall season. Park staff say they have seen a jump in daily park and campground visits going into the fall. In the midst of the pandemic, staff also…

Health Officials Urging People To Get Flu Shots Early

Each year, on average one in five people catch the flu.

DULUTH, Minn. – Health officials are urging people to get their flu shots early to help prevent potential impacts during the ongoing global pandemic. Both the flu and COVID-19 are illnesses that affect a person’s respiratory system. Each year, on average one in five people catch the flu. Having an outbreak of both at the same time could have major…

Free COVID-19 Testing Event Planned in Itasca County

Free Drive-Thru Testing is Happening Sept. 23 at the Itasca County Fairgrounds from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. – COVID-19 continues to take a toll on employers and employees across Minnesota. Thursday during a weekly update from Itasca County Public Health Department, local health officials and management from area companies expressed the importance of communications between employees and employers when it comes to COVID-19 cases in the workplace. Employees are encouraged to brush up on…

St. Luke’s Participates In COVID-19 Study Conducted By CDC

DULUTH, Minn. – St. Luke’s hospital is one of six national healthcare organizations and the only in Minnesota taking part in a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The study is an opportunity to learn more about COVID-19, which could be beneficial for the treatment of the virus. There are still many questions surrounding the coronavirus,…

LSC Makes COVID-19 Case Numbers Public Through Database

DULUTH, Minn.- Lake Superior College is one of many Northland higher education institutions choosing to keep the public informed of its COVID-19 case numbers. LSC along with other schools like Fond Du Lac Tribal and Community College have signed on to report case numbers to a public database. Every Wednesday, the colleges and universities will report their status and the…

COVID-19 Cases Confirmed at Three Duluth Schools in First Week Open

So far all that have been confirmed is at least one positive case each at Lincoln Park Middle School, Denfeld High School, and Lowell Elementary. 

DULUTH, Minn.- With just one week into the school year, at least three cases of coronavirus have been confirmed within the Duluth School District. So far all that have been confirmed is at least one positive case each at Lincoln Park Middle School, Denfeld High School, and Lowell Elementary. We reached out to ISD 709 Tuesday for a total count…

Wisconsin Sees High COVID Infection Rate, Loss of FEMA Funding For PPE in Schools and Other Public Entities

MADISON, Wis. — Governor Tony Evers’ administration shared an update on Tuesday that Wisconsin is dealing with a high COVID-19 infection rate, while FEMA has pulled funding to help supply PPE to public entities like schools. During Tuesday’s update, the administration shared that Wisconsin hit a new record for the number of COVID-19 test results coming back positive in a…

Newly Remodeled Lake View Hospital Unveiled

TWO HARBORS, Minn.– The new Lake View Hospital in Two Harbors is now unveiled.  It’s a place hospital leaders are calling a major step forward for the future of healthcare in the region. More than two years ago, Lake View and St. Luke’s put plans in motion to strengthen and modernize the facilities in Two Harbors.  The main goal was…

COVID-19 Case Confirmed at Lincoln Park Middle School

DULUTH, Minn. – The principal of Lincoln Park Middle School informed faculty and staff Monday of a confirmed COVID-19 case involving a “member” of the school’s community. Principal Brian Kazmierczak said the infected person was last in the school Sept. 11. “We have worked with the MDH to identify those who had close contact with the case, and have communicated…

Socially Distant Walk to End Alzheimer’s

Instead of walking in large numbers down the Lakewalk, participants were encouraged to do their own version of the walk at home.

DULUTH, Minn.– Over 120,000 Americans died from Alzheimer’s in 2018 and today a popular annual event in Duluth helping raise awareness for the disease was still able to go on in a unique way during the pandemic. Walking to raise money and awareness for Alzheimer’s this year is more important now than ever. Those effected say with the added stress…

Health Officials Stress Importance of Influenza Vaccine as Flu Season Looms Ahead

The CDC says they have developed a test that will check for seasonal flu viruses, and the virus that causes COVID-19. 

DULUTH, Minn.- While the COVID-19 pandemic has been the most prominent public health concern since march, each winter brings a new flu season. Which is why officials are urging people to get vaccinated. “Now is the time to get it,” stressed Diane Seiloff, Adult Services Coordinator for St. Louis County Public Health. Generally, flu symptoms include a fever, cough, sore…

OMC Smokehouse Shuts Doors Temporarily After Employee Tests Positive for COVID-19

The restaurant says they will be identifying anyone who may have been in contact with the employee and encourage them to get tested.

  DULUTH, Minn. — A popular restaurant in Duluth’s Lincoln Park Neighborhood, OMC Smokehouse is closing temporarily due to an employee testing positive for COVID-19 Sunday. “We are just working on trying to understand this and trying to do it the right way,” said owner Tom Hanson. In a post on their Facebook page Sunday, OMC Smokehouse said they will…

Health Officials Reminding Folks Of The Potential COVID-19 Risks During Labor Day

DULUTH, Minn. — Although celebrating the Labor Day holiday is often a way to take a break and say goodbye to summer, St. Louis County health officials are urging folks to use caution when participating in holiday gatherings. Labor day is typically a holiday where people celebrate with barbecues and other social events., but attending these types of gatherings can…

Passing Of Movie Star Chadwick Boseman Sparks The Importance Of Getting Checked For Colon Cancer

more than 50,000 are expected to die from the disease in 2020.

DULUTH, Minn. – Studies from the National Cancer Institute show colon cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the U.S. and is responsible for more deaths than any other cancer besides lung cancer. Health professionals are stressing the importance of getting screened to uncover the illness in its early stages. Its been nearly a week since the passing of…

Itasca County Health Officials Express Flu Shot Importance This Fall

Flu Shots Will Be Available Within One to Two Weeks at Grand Itasca Clinic & Hospital

GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. – As the Labor Day weekend inches closer, officials with Itasca County Public Health Department want to remind residents and visitors that their actions could have long-term effects amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Health officials say the last time they saw a huge spike in cases was two weeks after the 4th of July holiday weekend. This is…

Check Your Mailbox! Bridge to Health Survey Sent to 27,000 Northland Residents

The Survey is Sent to Residents in Northeastern Minnesota and Douglas County Once Every Five Years

DULUTH, Minn. – 27,000 Northland residents will soon receive a survey in the mail from Generations Health Care Initiatives. Known as the ‘Bridge to Health Survey,’ this document helps provide vital information regarding resident’s access to healthcare throughout Northeastern Minnesota and Douglas County, Wisconsin. The comprehensive regional health status survey asks residents about health conditions, access to mental health, dental,…

Therapist Offers Advice on When to Seek Help With Mental Health Concerns

Coffee Conversation: Dealing with Mental Health Amid COVID-19 Pandemic, Social Unrest

DULUTH, Minn. – The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting individuals on many different levels. Toss in political and social unrest across the country, and stress/anxiety have skyrocketed this year. Maren Barootian , a psychotherapist at Essentia Health in Duluth, says it’s important for those struggling with mental health issues to know they’re not alone. Barootian says it’s easy for many adults…

Dermatologists Are Noticing “Maskne” Is Becoming A Problem For Many People

Experts say sweat, oils, and bacteria can become trapped under the skin leading to a person to see a change.

DULUTH, Minn. – If you have been experiencing unexplained changes to the skin on your face you may be developing “maskne” or mask acne. Dermatologists have been seeing an increase in patients being treated for skin irritation and acne breakouts due to continuous mask-wearing. The skin acts a barrier, but when wearing a face covering, the skin becomes impaired. Experts…

Pregnancy Stress During Pandemic Can Have Impacts

Health professionals recommend at least 30 minutes of exercise a day can help improve your mood.

DULUTH, Minn. Stress can be a normal reaction to life changes. In the midst of a pandemic, pregnant women experiencing stress just might be too overwhelming. Pregnancy is supposed to be a happy time in a woman’s life. “I kind of felt like my part of my pregnancy taken from me,” said Dakota DeFoe. When the coronavirus pandemic hit the…

Itasca County Educators Stress Preparation Before School Begins

Parents and Caregivers Are Encouraged to Practice Masking Ahead of Return to the Classroom

ITASCA COUNTY, Minn. – Health and school leaders in Itasca County are urging parents to practice what local medical professionals are preaching to better help their children prepare for the upcoming abnormal school year. Officials stress the need for preventative action at home before students return to the classroom come September. Per Minnesota state guidelines, all students returning to in-person…

Tech-Up Program Helps Give Laptops To Those In Need

The program has given out nearly 150 laptops.

DULUTH, Minn. – Community Action Duluth is hoping to narrow the technology gap one person at a time. The organization’s Community Tech-Up program aims to provide free laptops and wifi to those who may not be able to afford it. The program is geared towards giving those individuals more access to educational and employment opportunities. The digital divide has already…

Local Tattoo Shop Helps Collect Donations For Toy Drive Honoring A Child That Lost His Life Too Soon

"He was the silliest funniest little boy ever. His personality was so unique. It was honestly indescribable," said Tayteaona Boykin, Baby J's mother.

SUPERIOR, Wis. – A Twin ports tattoo shop is giving back by helping to collect donations for a toy drive honoring the memory of a child that lost his life way too soon. 13-month-old  Jamarr Harkins Jr., also known as Baby J, was born with a congenital heart defect. In his short lifetime, he fought to survive even after having…

New Guidelines For Long Term Care Facilities Released By MN Dept. Of Health

DULUTH, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Health recently released new COVID-19 guidelines for longterm care facilities in the state. Long term care centers can be in either level one or level two. Each facility must factor in if they have had a case within the last 28 days before restrictions for visitation can be relaxed. Other factors such as…

Governor Tim Walz Sheds Light On Making Masks Available Across The State

Second Harvest will be distributing hundreds of faces masks to more than 30 food shelves in northern Minnesota.

DULUTH, Minn. – Minnesota Governor Tim Walz visited the Second Harvest Food Bank in Duluth on Friday to shed light on how the state is using food distribution organizations to get thousands of reusable masks into the hands of Minnesotans in need. Mask wearing is widely considered to be one of the keys to slowing the spread of the Coronavirus….

UMD Prepares To Welcome Students In The Fall

DULUTH, Minn. – The University of Minnesota Duluth has put new safety protocols as it prepares to welcome students back to campus. There are about three weeks remain before students can get back to in-person instruction at the university. But when student return, there will be a wide array of noticeable differences including plexiglass partitions at information desks. About 50…

St. Louis County Adds New COVID-19 Cases Faster Than Any Other County In The State

We are seeing almost 40% reporting to have visited restaurants and bars," said Amy Westbrook, public health director for St. Louis County.

DULUTH, Minn.- St. Louis County has added new Coronavirus cases faster than any other county in the state by reaching nearly 500 total. Initially, the county had a pretty low rate of COVID-19 cases at the start of the pandemic. Most cases were found in long term facilities. Now the numbers are growing as a result of community transmission. County…

Essentia Health Bills Approximately 1,000 Uninsured Patients For COVID-19 Tests

DULUTH, Minn. — A representative with Essentia Health in Duluth has admitted that the health care provider charged approximately 1,000 uninsured patients for COVID-19 tests, which are free under the federal CARES Act. The issue came to light after one patient told FOX21 he received a $171 bill for his COVID-19 test in July. That patient, Superior resident Nick Dalbec,…

Ashland County Reports First COVID-19 Death, Gov. Evers Provides Statewide Update

More than 960 Wisconsinites have died of COVID-19, 56,000 have tested positive since pandemic began

ASHLAND COUNTY, Wis. – Ashland County reported its first COVID-19 related death Tuesday. As of August 4th, the virus has killed more than 960 people across Wisconsin, and more than 56,000 have tested positive since the pandemic started. “We were in a pretty good place a few months ago, but we’ve hit some serious setbacks, folks, and we will continue…

Nurses Picket for New Contract at Essentia Health-Virginia

Nurses say they've been without a contract for more than a year, they're asking for safety language in contracts and 'safe staffing levels.'

VIRGINIA, Minn. – Nurses who work for Essentia Health’s hospital in Virginia aren’t on strike, but they picketed outside the healthcare facility Monday. Nurses say they want to get a deal done now after working there without a contract for more than a year. 103 Minnesota Nurses Association (MNA) nurses work at Essentia Health-Virginia. The union is asking the healthcare…

Wisconsin Mask Mandate Now in Effect

Wisconsinites are mandated to wear the masks indoors or face a potential $200 penalty.

ASHLAND, Wis. – Wisconsin Governor Tony Ever’s statewide mandatory mask order began on Saturday. The order requires people over five years old to wear masks in indoor spaces. Wisconsinites are mandated to wear the masks indoors or face a potential $200 penalty. Ashland’s city council voted not to rule on a mask mandate this week, but per Gov. Evers’ order,…

Fond du Luth Casino Employee Tests Positive for COVID-19

DULUTH, Minn. – A Fond du Luth Casino employee has tested positive for COVID-19. The casino sent the following statement about the positive test: “A Fond du Luth employee has tested positive for COVID-19. Immediate action was taken by the Fond du Luth’s management including an internal process to determine who was in contact with the employee. Fond du Luth is…

Gary New Duluth Rec Center Distributes Food Bags from YMCA Summer Food Service

Volunteers say the meals help in the food desert of Gary New Duluth.

DULUTH, Minn.- Some people in Gary New Duluth Wednesday spent the warm sunny weather handing out bags of food to those in need. The Duluth Area YMCA Summer Food Service Program has been giving out grab-and-go meal bags at the Gary New Duluth Recreation Center since March. The bags included juice, healthy snacks, and produce from the community garden. A…

Free Drive-Thru COVID-19 Testing in Superior After Weekend of Two Large Public Events

Douglas County officials say despite safety precautions at Bowfest and Head of the Lakes Fair, testing should be done in the virus incubation period.

SUPERIOR, Wis.- After a weekend of two large public events in Superior, Douglas County Health Officials and the Wisconsin National Guard teamed up to administer free drive-thru COVID-19 tests Wednesday at Superior Middle School. 500 coronavirus tests were available in the parking lot of the Middle School. Douglas County Health Officials say before the site even began testing, 75 cars…

Drive-thru Testing Site Comes To Superior

Another testing event is scheduled in Solon Springs on Thursday.

SUPERIOR, Wis. – Nearly 100 people in Douglas County have already tested positive for the Coronavirus since the start of the pandemic. In response to the increasing number of cases, the county is partnering with the national guard to offer free drive-thru testing in Superior. The event will be able to test up to five hundred people. Anyone with any…

Ashland City Council Votes to Urge County to Issue Mask Mandate

City attorney says it's unclear if the city has the authority to require masks directly

ASHLAND, Wis. – The Ashland City Council is choosing not to create its own mask mandate, but is instead urging the Ashland County Health Department to require masks in places open to the public and to restrict large gatherings. At the council meeting on Tuesday, the city attorney said it’s unclear if the city has the legal authority to require…

NAACP Gives Away More Free Masks After Statewide Mandate Announced

Organization gives away around 300 masks every week in the Twin Ports area

DULUTH, Minn. – The need for masks is even higher after the state of Minnesota and some Wisconsin cities like Superior have started requiring masks in indoor public places. The Duluth branch NAACP has been giving away free masks to the community since April, helping Northlanders protect themselves and others from the coronavirus. On Thursday, the organization was outside the…

Gov. Walz Says Mask Mandate Will Help Keep Businesses Open, Infection Rate Down

As of Saturday masks will be required in all indoor public spaces.

MINNESOTA- On Wednesday, Minnesota joined over two dozen other states in requiring masks to be worn in all indoor public places statewide. That new Executive Order by Governor Tim Walz goes into effect Saturday morning. You can find the full executive order here. “This is a small sacrifice for a potentially big gain,” Gov. Walz said. “The upside of the…

Cloquet Mayor Reacts To Passing Of Mask Ordinance

CLOQUET, Minn. – Less than 24 hours before Governor Tim Walz made his announcement the Cloquet City Council approved an ordinance requiring residents to wear masks while at indoor businesses. Cloquet Mayor Roger Maki initially had some concerns the vote would fail. He says although the vote was not unanimous he is grateful for the councilors who changed their minds….

Cloquet City Council Passes Mask Mandate; Votes to Take Effect August 1st

While some councilors supported the language of the ordinance, others thought enforcement would be an issue.

CLOQUET, Minn.- A mask mandate for indoor public places was passed by the Cloquet City Council Monday evening, taking effect August 1st. Unlike Duluth, the vote was not unanimous — the council, it seems, as divided as they said the community is on the issue. The Council passed the ordinance 5-2, the only change being making it effective August 1st….

Superior School Board Approves Response Plan for Reopening this Fall

Plan allows families to choose all-virtual, or hybrid of virtual and in-person learning.

SUPERIOR, Wis.- In their first in-person meeting since March, the Superior School Board Monday approved their COVID-19 District Response Plan on reopening schools this fall. In the plan (found here), families can choose whether to continue having their children learn virtually at home, or attend in a hybrid setting with partial education at home and partial in the school building….

St. Luke’s Oncologist Emphasizes Importance of Routine Screenings Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Coffee Conversation: Continuing Routine Medical Exams, Cancer Screenings Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

DULUTH, Minn. – Routine medical exams and cancer screenings are taking a back burner for many people amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. It’s a worry for many in the medical community, as this could have negative impacts in the years to come. Dr. Roberto Fernandez, a St. Luke’s Oncologist, says it’s vital for patients to come in for routine cancer…

Some Cloquet Business Owners Ready for Mask Mandate Ahead of Council Vote Tuesday

While city officials' views on the ordinance are divided, these business owners say it's a good idea.

CLOQUET, Minn.- Coming up Tuesday two Northland cities, Cloquet and Superior, will vote on a mask mandate for indoor public places. In Cloquet, some business owners say it’s a good idea if it means continuing their operations as safely as possible. “I think it’s good for the community overall, just to keep the spread of the Coronavirus,” said Cindy Peterson,…