Health

Duluth, Proctor Superintendents Disappointed in Slow Federal Vaccine Rollout

Duluth School District is only getting 32 vaccines to start, and Proctor is only getting 10.

DULUTH/PROCTOR, Minn.- While Gov. Tim Walz announced Monday the state will open up vaccines to the elderly, education and child care workers in the coming weeks, Northland school leaders said they feel disheartened that the vaccines they’re getting to start barely scratch the surface. “Quite honestly I was really hopeful that it would be broader,” said Duluth Schools Superintendent John…

Mobile Vaccine Units Coming Soon To Counties In Wisconsin

The mobile units will assist local health departments in the next phase of the state's rollout, which includes police officers and firefighters.

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Wis. – The National Guard and Wisconsin health officials are teaming up… to test a program that offers mobile vaccination clinics across the state. National Guard members and pharmacy volunteers will be deployed, starting on Tuesday, to counties in Wisconsin that have requested to be a part of this pilot program. The mobile units will assist local health…

Superior School Board Gives School Nurses A Pay Raise

The pay will increase by about $2 an hour for LPN's and $5 an hour for RN's.

SUPERIOR, Wis. – The Superior School board recently approved a pay increase for school nurses in an effort to attract more to work in Superior schools. School nurses have been in high demand for the School District of Superior. The Coronavirus pandemic has only caused the need for school nurses to grow. The district administrator says the pay increase allows…

Facebook Group “Duluth Does Veganuary!” Challenges Locals To Try Plant-Based Diets

DULUTH, Minn. — A Facebook group called “Duluth Does Veganuary!” is challenging Northlanders to try giving up meat and dairy for the month of January. The group, now in its second year, has more than 650 members and encourages everyone to try going vegan for the full month, but also helps motivate those who are curious about the diet, and…

Minnesota Lists 1,364 New Virus Cases, 40 Additional Deaths

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Minnesota health officials are confirming 1,364 new cases of COVID-19 and 40 additional deaths due to complications from the virus. The COVID Tracking Project reports that the state’s death count is the 22nd highest in the country overall and the 28th highest per capita at about 107 deaths per 100,000 people. State officials said 24 of the…

U Of M Medical School Survey Looks To Address Healthcare Disparities For The Deaf Community

Its believed these gaps are brought on by the communication barrier between the patient and the healthcare provider.

DULUTH, Minn. – A national survey conducted by a student at the University of Minnesota Medical School in Duluth is being used to help further pinpoint areas of healthcare that may be lacking for deaf and hearing-impaired patients. Research over the last few decades shows deaf individuals battle disparities including lower rates of prenatal care and higher rates of mental…

U Of M Medical School Participating In Novavax Phase 3 Trials

The study for Phase 3 is to determine if the vaccine actually prevents a COVID-19 infection.

DULUTH, Minn. – Clinical trials for Phase 3 of the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine are starting soon. The University of Minnesota Medical School is one of a hundred institutions participating in the study. Medical researchers say after undergoing the first two stages of clinical trials, Novavax vaccine shows promise. Infectious disease professionals across the nation and internationally, including the U of…

Fear Of Needles Could Impact People’s Choice To Get The COVID-19 Vaccine

The phobia typically starts during childhood.

DULUTH, Minn. – Needle phobia can be very common among many people, but this fear is bringing up concerns as those individuals may choose not to take the COVID-19 vaccine. Health experts say identifying individuals with a fear of needles and finding ways to help them overcome the challenge can help increase the chances of them wanting to get the…

Minnesota Dept. of Health Launches COVID-19 Vaccine Dashboard

The website shows more than 144,000 people have received at least one dose of the vaccine as of Saturday, and more than 7,000 who already got the second dose.

MINNESOTA- The Minnesota Department of Health has launched an online dashboard, to stay up to date on the state’s vaccination rollout. The website shows more than 144,000 people have received at least one dose of the vaccine as of Saturday, and more than 7,000 who already got the second dose. It will be updated daily. “It provides Minnesotans with confidence…

Carlton County Public Health Works To Keep Up With Challenges During Vaccination Process

Public health officials are being spread thin while trying to get the vaccines distributed to the priority groups.

CARLTON COUNTY, Minn. – The COVID-19 vaccine has been going into arms around the Northland for a few weeks now. Over in Carlton County, public health officials are being spread thin while trying to get the vaccines distributed to the priority groups. Vaccine administration continues to be a top priority across the state and in the region, but getting the…

More Contagious Virus Variant Discovered In Twin Cities Area

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota health officials have confirmed five cases of a more contagious variant of the coronavirus in the Twin Cities area. The variant, which was first detected late last year in the United Kingdom, was identified in specimens from residents in four Minnesota counties. Although officials aren’t surprised by the discovery and don’t believe it will lead to…

Rapid COVID Testing Available At St. Luke’s Hospital

According to the CDC, the most reliable COVID-19 tests are still PCR nasal tests as antigen tests are less trustworthy to catch asymptomatic cases.

DULUTH, Minn. – Patients of St. Luke’s Hospital can now get a rapid COVID-19 antigen test that can return same-day results. The testing is available for patients of the respiratory clinic in Hermantown or those utilizing the drive-thru testing garage located on the 900 block of East First Street. People of all ages can have access to the testing, but…

Free COVID-19 Testing Event Happening at Grand Rapids High School

The Event Takes Place as Cases of COVID-19 Have Decreased in Itasca County Throughout December

GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. – The first COVID-19 briefing of 2021 comes with uplifting news from Itasca County. The county’s public health officials are reporting a steady decrease in cases throughout December. Over the past seven days, 53 new cases have been identified in the county. Since the start of the pandemic, a total of 2,751 residents have tested positive, and…

Essentia Health President Optimistic, Yet Cautious as Pandemic Continues in 2021

Dr. Jon Pryor, President of Essentia Health, Says Northlanders Must Remain Cautious as COVID Vaccinations Continue

DULUTH, Minn. – While cases of COVID-19 continue to slightly decrease across Minnesota, hospitals in the Northland are still feeling the strain. Dr. Jon Pryor, President of Essentia Health, chatted with FOX 21’s Brett Scott Wednesday morning about vaccine distribution, the current situation inside Northland hospitals, and the outlook for 2021. “I want to thank everyone in the Northland for…

Gov. Evers, Health Officials Ask for Patience During Wisconsin Vaccine Distribution

Health officials said the demand is going to exceed the supply for a while.

MADISON, Wis.- The Wisconsin Governor and health leaders addressed obstacles and delays in the state’s vaccine distribution Tuesday. So far 85,609 vaccines have been administered and as of Monday 266,675 doses had been shipped to Wisconsin. According to health officials, the demand is going to exceed the supply for a while. Gov. Tony Evers emphasized that focus should not divert…

Northland Public Health Officials Worry For Another COVID-19 Spike

"We probably will be seeing effects or see trends in our case count in the next couple of weeks. It's still really too early to tell if there was an impact from holiday gatherings yet," said Westbrook."We probably will be seeing effects or see trends in our case count in the next couple of weeks. It's still really too early to tell if there was an impact from holiday gatherings yet," said Westbrook.

NORTHLAND – Now that the holidays are over, public health officials in the Northland are bracing for the potential for another spike in COVID-19 cases. The pandemic has already had a deep impact on the Northland. Health experts strongly advised people to avoid holiday gatherings to help keep new COVID-19 case numbers down. “Our numbers have been going in the…

COVID-19 Testing At DECC To Run Through January, But Future Is Uncertain

DULUTH, Minn. — COVID-19 saliva tests at the DECC in Duluth will continue through the month of January, but it’s unclear if Minnesota will have enough funding to continue it after that. Testing sites in the state are set up by the Minnesota Department of Health. In the latest economic relief package that was just signed into law, the federal…

MN Veteran’s Home in Silver Bay Gives Out Covid-19 Vaccine

"I am happy I got it," said Frank Stella, an army veteran and resident of the home. "I feel good."

SILVER BAY, Minn. – More than 100 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine were given out to help protect employees and residents. Dozens of residents and staff at the Minnesota Veterans Home in Silver Bay rolled up their sleeves to be some of the first to receive COVID-19 vaccines. “I am happy I got it,” said Frank Stella, an army veteran…

Carlton County Public Health Hosts Drive-thru Vaccine Clinic

100 doses of the Moderna vaccine was received for Tuesday's clinic.

CARLTON, Minn. – Carlton County’s Public Health and Human Services Division held its first drive-thru COVID-19 vaccination clinic. The county distributed its first shipment of the Moderna vaccine. The clinic was not open to the public. The vaccinations were only for emergency medical services workers and others helping to do community COVID-19 testing. One first responder says getting the vaccine…

Wisconsin Reports More Than 600 New Cases On Saturday

Currently, the state is averaging more than 1,800 new confirmed cases and 41 deaths weekly.

WISCONSIN – 632 new confirmed COVID-19 cases were being reported on Saturday by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. There were also four more people who have died from the virus. This brings the state’s total confirmed cases to more than 460,000 and nearly 5,000 deaths. Currently, the state is averaging more than 1,800 new confirmed cases and 41 deaths…

More COVID-19 Deaths Reported in St. Louis County

Total deaths are now up to 189.

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Minn. – Three more people in St. Louis County have now died from COVID-19. On Saturday, 98 new cases have also been reported in the county, creating a total of more than twelve thousand for the northland. Total deaths are now up to 189. The Minnesota Department of Health is also reporting there are 2,170 new cases…

Those Traveling To US From UK Must Test Negative For Covid-19

Beginning Monday, passengers headed for the United States must test negative within 72 hours of their departure.

(AP) – A new virus strain in Great Britain creates new restrictions for passengers headed to the U.S. Anyone flying to the U.S. from the United Kingdom must test negative for the Coronavirus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued the new order late Thursday in response to a new strain of the virus in the UK, one with…

Mental Health Experts Concerned About Loneliness This Holiday Season

Health experts say it's common for many people not to recognize they are feeling lonely.

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – The pandemic is preventing many people from spending time with their loved ones during the holidays. Mental health experts are now concerned this holiday season may be rough for some people. A national survey found that out of the 20,000 people surveyed, more than half reported they sometimes or always feel alone. Adding the impacts of the…

Two Essentia Health Employees Had Allergic Reactions To COVID-19 Vaccine

Some of the symptoms that brought concern for health experts included hives, swelling of the lips or mouth, and shortness of breath.

DULUTH, Minn. – About 2,500 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have already been given to frontline workers at Essentia Health. So far, only two employees had allergic reactions to the vaccine. Essentia Health officials say the reactions weren’t severe, but out of caution each worker was treated and evaluated. It is believed the reactions to the COVID-19 vaccine may be…

FDA Authorizes Second COVID-19 Vaccine from Moderna

The Food and Drug Administration authorized emergency use Friday of the vaccine developed by Moderna and the National Institutes of Health.

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. is adding a second COVID-19 vaccine to its arsenal. The Food and Drug Administration authorized emergency use Friday of the vaccine developed by Moderna and the National Institutes of Health. The decision comes days after health workers and nursing home residents began getting a similar coronavirus shot from Pfizer and BioNTech. Extra doses from a…

Duluth Man Needing Living Kidney Donor Brings Back Epic Christmas Displays

DULUTH, Minn. — A Duluth man known in his neighborhood for his bright Christmas lights and decorations is bringing back the tradition again after stopping for a few years, while also searching for a living kidney donor. Pat Stojevich has more than 20,000 Christmas lights strung around his property and counting. “I figure by the time we’re done we’ll be…

Duluth Police Department Receives Funding To Help Support Opioid Recovery Efforts

There have been 200 overdoses in the area this year as reported by the Duluth Police.

DULUTH, Minn. – The Duluth Police Department has received some major funding to help fight opioid addictions and start the recovery process for some people in the Northland. The department received a grant for almost $900,000. which will fund the Lake Superior Diversion and Substance Abuse Response team over the next three years. The funding will be used to expand…

Wisconsin Health Leaders Explain Vaccine Distribution as State Gets First Shipment

Meanwhile, the spread of the virus isn't slowing down in the state. 

MADISON, Wis.- Wisconsin received 10,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine Monday, with about 35,000 more doses expected by the end of the week. The first rounds are going to frontline healthcare workers and to nursing home residents in a couple weeks. The general public will not have access to the vaccine for months as the state deploys this historic rollout…

Essentia Health Hiring Healthcare Workers

"It's been an unbelievable amount of stress on our staff. We're used to taking care of people who are very sick and used to seeing people die, but not in these numbers," said Jon Pryor, president of Essentia Health.

DULUTH, Minn. – Demand for healthcare workers is becoming critical in the Northland. Essentia Health is now hiring, hoping to find skilled healthcare employees to fill the gaps brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. A shortage of frontline workers such as nurses is already creating a strain for hospitals in the region. Many hospital officials are getting concerned for the…

US allows emergency COVID-19 vaccine in bid to end pandemic

The U.S. has given the final go-ahead to the nation’s first COVID-19 vaccine, launching emergency vaccinations in a bid to end the pandemic. Shots will begin in a few days after Friday's decision by the Food and Drug Administration.

WASHINGTON (AP) – The U.S. has given the final go-ahead to the nation’s first COVID-19 vaccine, launching emergency vaccinations in a bid to end the pandemic. Shots will begin in a few days after Friday’s decision by the Food and Drug Administration. The FDA called the vaccine from Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech safe and strongly protective. But initial…

Essentia Doctor Details COVID Reality in the Northland, Vaccine Progress

Dr. Melissa Simonson Encourages All Northland Residents to Receive the COVID Vaccine When Available

DULUTH, Minn.  – At Essentia Health in Duluth, capacity is stretched thin with both COVID patients and the normal patient population. Dr. Melissa Simonson, section chair of hospitalist services at Essentia Health, says over the last two weeks they have seen a slight improvement in the number of COVID patients. Right now,  20-25 percent of regular medical patients are COVID…

U.S. Panel Endorses Widespread Use of Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine

WASHINGTON (AP) — A U.S. government advisory panel endorsed widespread use of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine Thursday, putting the country just one step away from launching an epic vaccination campaign against the outbreak that has killed close to 300,000 Americans. Shots could begin within days, depending on how quickly the Food and Drug Administration signs off, as expected, on the expert…

First Responders Are Feeling Strained From Impacts Of COVID-19

NORTHLAND, Minn. – First responders have been strained by this pandemic, especially ambulance crews that may respond to someone having symptoms. Communities rely on first responders when emergencies happen, but as coronavirus case numbers surge in the region, the job is becoming more challenging. “We need some help in being able to respond to the emergencies,” said Virginia Mayor Larry…

Wis. Health Officials Promoting Higher Rates of Flu Vaccinations in Communities of Color

MADISON, Wis.– As cases of COVID-19 continue to rise in the country and in Wisconsin, cases of the flu have been another story. The Wisconsin Department of Health Services is rolling out a new campaign to help encourage all Wisconsinites to get the flu vaccine. With the COVID-19 vaccinations now starting around the world and on the way here soon…

Gov Walz: ‘The end of COVID is out there’ with Vaccine Rollout Likely Next Week

If approved, the state would receive 46,800 shots from Pfizer by next week.

ST. PAUL, Minn.- Minnesota Governor Tim Walz unveiled the state’s plan for getting Minnesotans vaccinated against coronavirus, some as soon as the coming weeks. “This day is real, it’s happening, it is really here. In Minnesota, we’re prepared for it,” said the Governor in a press conference Tuesday. “We are on the doorstep of starting this.” According to the Minnesota…

Wisconsin Health Officials Discuss How COVID-19 Vaccine Will Be Distributed

WI DHS stressed the safety of the vaccines, and how long they still have to go before reaching the public.

MADISON, Wis.- In Wisconsin Monday, health experts held a news conference answering COVID-19 vaccine questions. They say of the two vaccines awaiting FDA approval, Pfizer’s would require cold storage at -70°C±10°C for up to 10 days unopened in the state’s Healthcare Emergency Response Coalition (HERC) regions before going to clinics. Moderna’s, which does not require cold storage, would go directly to…

Local Colleges Keeping Nursing Pipeline Going During Pandemic

DULUTH, Minn. – The pandemic is creating a strong need for more healthcare workers. Northland colleges and universities are keeping the pipeline going to help address the urgency to fill open healthcare jobs. Both Lake Superior College and the College of St. Scholastica have students ready to graduate this month. This may be perfect timing as many healthcare settings in…

Caution Again Advised for Christmas; Vaccine on Horizon for Public in 2021 Gov. Walz Says

After a surge in cases over Thanksgiving, the Governor said guidance will likely remain for Christmas, and public access to the vaccine in 2021.

ST. PAUL, Minn.- Governor Tim Walz and State Health leaders spoke out in a COVID-19 briefing Monday after a Thanksgiving weekend like no other. They stressed continued mitigation efforts by Minnesotans, with the horizon of a vaccine in the distance — in 2021. “Minnesotans did a pretty good job staying home, but there’s some data on movement especially the airport…

Local Frontline Workers Give A Special Thank You To Other Frontline Workers

"I hope they feel recognized. I hope they feel they are part of the team," Duluth Fire Chief Shawn Krizaj.

DULUTH, Minn. – The Duluth Police and Fire Departments are sharing their appreciation for the other emergency teams that sometimes are not recognized nearly enough for their efforts. A fleet of emergency vehicles from both departments flooded the streets outside St. Luke’s Hospital to help show appreciation for other frontline workers. “It’s a beautiful thing to see the frontline heroes…

Healthcare Workers Describe Reality Inside Overwhelmed Duluth Hospitals

Medical Professionals From St. Luke's, Essentia Health Paint Picture of a Grim Reality

DULUTH, Minn. – Frontline workers from St. Luke’s and Essentia Health are speaking out, sharing what they experience during a routine shift amid the global COVID-19 pandemic. Critical care doctors and ICU nurses want residents to know the surge is here, and it’s going to take all of us working together to help limit the spread, and save our most…

Adult & Teen Challenge Northland Center Experiencing COVID-19 Outbreak

DULUTH, Minn. — The Minnesota Adult & Teen Challenge Northland Center in Duluth is currently experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak among staff and residents. Right now, 19 staff members and nine residents have tested positive for the virus. Two of the staff members had to be hospitalized, and one of them is still in the hospital. The residents and staff affected…

Virus Deaths Hit New High in Wisconsin, Gov. Evers Proposes New Relief Bill

Evers released a proposal to tackle the pandemic, including prohibiting evictions and foreclosures through 2021.

WISCONSIN.- Deaths from the coronavirus in Wisconsin have hit a new daily high. The state reported 92 deaths Tuesday with 7,090 new cases. This comes as Governor Tony Evers released a proposal to tackle the pandemic. It includes proposals that would prohibit evictions and foreclosures through 2021 and continue the suspension of a one-week waiting period before people can collect…

Gov. Walz Expected to Force Tighter COVID Restrictions on Sports, Dining, Gyms — Again

The Governor is expected to announce new restrictions on bars, restaurants, sports, gyms, and social gatherings Wednesday Evening.

ST. PAUL, Minn.- Governor Tim Walz is preparing to announce sweeping new COVID-19 restrictions during a statewide televised speech Wednesday night –as the amount of Minnesotans defying the rules he said, is hampering the state’s fight against the virus and pushing hospitals to the brink. According to a spokesperson with the Governor Tuesday, those new limits will involve bars, restaurants,…

Nurses Make Emotional Plea Backing Gov. Walz’s Frustration at Lack of ‘Social Compliance’ of COVID Guidelines

"I think it's obvious we're going to have to do more mitigation efforts," Gov. Walz said, as the state is expected to surpass 300,00 cases by Thanksgiving.

ST. PAUL, Minn.- A frustrated Minnesota Governor Tim Walz looked to nurses and doctors from around the state to illustrate how the COVID-19 surge is pushing them to their limits — in an effort to appeal to those who may not be following prevention guidelines. “What I recognize right now is that we’re in a place in this country where…

Some Duluth College Students Balancing School, Work, and Caring for Family Members with Alzheimer’s

  DULUTH, Minn. — Two college students in Duluth helped raise $2,000 for the Alzheimer’s Association through the local restaurant they work at, motivated by their personal connections to the disease that currently has no cure. Adam Streiff and Johanna Unden work at the restaurant Tavern On The Hill in Duluth, while also studying for their college classes and caring…

Wisconsin Surpasses 300,000 Total COVID-19 Cases

The state's chief medical officer warned this week that Wisconsin soon might not be able to adequately treat patients.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – It took Wisconsin seven months to log 100,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and it took only 36 more days to double that number. On Friday – a mere 18 days later – the state blew past 300,000 cases, breaking a record daily high set just a day earlier. There were 7,777 new cases reported by the…

Minnesota Hits New Record of Daily COVID-19 Cases

Since the pandemic arrived in Minnesota in March, the state’s pandemic tallies include 216,028 positive cases, 12,915 hospitalizations and 2,874 deaths.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Minnesota health officials have reported 35 new deaths and a record 8,703 new coronavirus cases. The Star Tribune reports the state’s one-day case count came on a record volume of about 52,311 newly completed tests. Since the pandemic arrived in Minnesota in March, the state’s pandemic tallies include 216,028 positive cases, 12,915 hospitalizations and 2,874 deaths. Residents…

Itasca County Doctor: Hospitals At Capacity, Residents Urged to Follow Guidelines

Itasca County Public Health Officials Ask Residents to Wear Masks, Social Distance, Avoid Gatherings

GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. – Health officials in Itasca County are pleading with residents to do their part to help limit the spread of COVID-19. This plea comes as 241 new COVID-19 cases have been reported in the county within the past seven days. “Unfortunately, we know that not everyone is helping us minimize the spread, and keeping out healthcare resources…

Superior Police Work to Mitigate COVID-19 Exposure Within Department

To date, six officers have tested positive since March and only one officer is in quarantine awaiting test results.

SUPERIOR, Wis.- The Superior Police Department is also dealing with COVID-19 exposures within its department of 65 officers and staff. To date, six officers have tested positive since March and only one officer is in quarantine awaiting test results. Assistant Chief John Kiel told FOX 21 most officers have a take-home vehicle and are encouraged to spend as little time…