Health

Emergency Ordinance Proposal Could Require Everyone To Wear Masks Indoors

As an effort to ensure mass compliance with this proposed ordinance Essentia Health has offered to donate 20,000 masks to the public.

DULUTH, Minn. – The Duluth City Council is proposing an emergency ordinance to require everyone to wear masks while indoors From a statistical standpoint, many health officials believe wearing masks is a no brainer. As the number of Covid-19 cases keeps fluctuating daily around the nation, it can be difficult to see an end to the pandemic. Health experts believe…

UMD To Require Masks On Campus While Indoors Starting July 1

DULUTH, Minn. – The University of Minnesota announced Monday that starting July 1, it will require all students, staff and visitors to wear a mask while in any indoor or enclosed space on campus. In an email sent to staff and students, officials wrote that “We now know that wearing a face covering provides valuable, albeit imperfect, protection against the spread…

Fireworks Disturbances Creating Need To Warn About The Dangers

Duluth Police officers have answered nearly one hundred fireworks-related calls since June 1st.

DULUTH, Minn. – The Duluth Police Department is seeing an uptick in calls for fireworks disturbances. As those calls increase, the Duluth Fire Department is looking to remind fireworks users about the potential dangers and the importance of safety. As the Fourth of July inches closer, the use of illegal fireworks around Duluth has increased drastically compared to the same…

Free Mask Giveaway Provides Protective Wear For Rural Communities

"We want to make sure we are not spreading it when we can prevent it.," said North Shore Rotary Club President Carrie Coan.

LAKE COUNTY, Minn. – The North Shore Rotary Club handed out free face masks to residents in Lake County. This was the club’s second face mask giveaway. The organization was inspired by the Duluth NAACP’s effort to continue to provide free masks to members of the Duluth community. The Rotary Club thought it was the responsible thing to help smaller…

‘Face Covering’ Now Required For Shoppers, Staff At Whole Foods Co-Op

DULUTH, Minn. – Duluth’s Whole Foods Co-op locations are increasing safety measures against the coronavirus pandemic by requiring all shoppers and staff to wear some type of face mask while in the stores. The rule goes into effect Friday, June 26.  And if a customer doesn’t have a “face covering,” there will be a stock of single-use masks available at…

St. Luke’s Hospital Uses Technology To Identify Bacteria And Viruses Faster

"It allows us to deliver the right treatment and right therapy much soon than we have in the past," said Infectious Disease Physician Andrew Thompson.

DULUTH, Minn. – St. Luke’s Hospital is the first healthcare facility in the region to utilize a spectrometer to help identify microorganisms much faster. Traditional methods to classify bacteria, viruses, and fungi typically take days to return results. The equipment uses a laser to break down the microorganisms for identification in a matter of minutes. “It allows us to deliver…

Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar Says Get Your Kids Up-To-Date With Vaccinations

Measles vaccinations administered to children in Minnesota dropped by 70%.

DULUTH, Minn. – Recent studies show there has been a significant decrease in the number of vaccinations being given to children during the pandemic across the nation. Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar is pushing to address the troubling decline in the state. Doses of the measles vaccine administered in the state have dropped by 70% compared to last year. Health officials…

Amazon’s Fulfillment Center in Shakopee One of Larger Warehouse COVID Outbreaks

  (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File) SHAKOPEE, Minn. (AP) – State health officials say the Amazon fulfillment center in Shakopee has one of the larger coronavirus outbreaks in a warehouse or distribution plant setting. At least 88 of its approximately 1,000 workers have tested positive for the disease caused by the virus. Another 99 workers at other Amazon sites in the…

Cancellation Not Breaking Runners’ Stride on Grandma’s Race Day

Out of the 18,000 that registered this year, about 3,000 are doing virtual races.

DULUTH, Minn.- While the Grandma’s Marathon finish line in Canal Park was considerably emptier this year, shoes still jogged across, pushed by cheers, as some runners still ran the Gary Bjorklund Half Marathon themselves. “Being a Duluth resident you just partake in this event, and obviously being different this year but still fun to do it,” said Sierra Johnson, running…

Two More Duluth Assisted Living Facilities Have COVID-19 Cases

DULUTH, Minn. – Two more assisted living centers in Duluth now have confirmed COVID-19 cases. The Benedictine Living Center on Kenwood Avenue confirmed on its Facebook page that two of its residents have tested positive for COVID-19. The center says those individuals have been isolated and staff has been dedicated to care for them. Meanwhile, Ecumen Lakeshore on London Road…

St. Luke’s Infectious Disease Doctor on Public Preparedness: “I Think There’s Room For Improvement”

St. Luke's Infectious Disease Physician Dr. Andrew Thompson Speaks on COVID-19 Preparedness in the Northland

DULUTH, Minn. – “I think there’s room for improvement, at least here in our local community,” said Dr. Andrew Thompson, Infectious Disease Specialist with St. Luke’s Hospital in Duluth. Dr. Thompson made this statement when asked about his personal view on how safe and cautious residents in the Northland have been during the COVID-19 pandemic. As Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan…

More Disease-Carrying Ticks Being Found in Minnesota

30-40 percent of adult deer or black-legged ticks have Lyme Disease

DULUTH, Minn. – According to the Minnesota Department of Health, more ticks that carry Lyme disease and other illnesses are being found across the state. 30-40 percent of adult deer or black-legged ticks have Lyme disease. Health experts are more concerned with that species than the larger and more common wood or dog tick. Ticks can only transmit disease if…

Superior, Sponsors Ready to Launch ‘Sweet Streets’ Bike Safety Program

The Launch Will Happen Saturday, June 20 from 1 - 3 p.m. at Superior Public Library

SUPERIOR, Wis. – After many months of hard work and dedication behind the scenes, Jenny Van Sickle, Superior city council member, and many fine sponsors are thrilled to be launching a new bike safety program called ‘Sweet Streets.’ The launch is happening Saturday, June 20 from 1 – 3 p.m. at the Superior Public Library. Families are welcome and encouraged…

Volunteers Assemble Face Shields for Frontline Workers

DULUTH, Minn. – Volunteer groups are assembling face shields for frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandmeic. The Heritage Center in Duluth’s Lincoln Park neighborhood has been filled with people making more than 30,000 face shields for Essentia Health. The volunteer drive is being organized by Ecolibrium3 and materials have been provided by Frost River Trading. The Duluth Woman’s Club is…

Second Harvest North Central Food Bank Ready to Help Residents in Need

Resources Are Available for All Residents in Itasca County Facing Food Insecurities

ITASCA COUNTY, Minn. -With school out and the coronavirus pandemic continuing to have a lasting impact on communities, health officials in Itasca County want to stress the importance of nutrition and food access services in the region. Second Harvest North Central Food Bank continues to provide food to 130 agencies in the region, from International Falls to Princeton. Research shows…

COVID-19 Update: 53 Cases, 9 Deaths Reported in Itasca County

Health Professionals Advise Residents to Maintain a Healthy Diet, Exercise Routine

ITASCA COUNTY, Minn. – As of Friday Itasca County Public Health Officials confirm 53 positive COVID-19 cases within the county. The youngest case is reported in an elementary aged individual. The county also reports a total of nine deaths related to coronavirus. Grand Itasca Clinic & Hospital has tested over 1,000 residents for COVID-19. This comes as health professionals continue…

Virtual Jazz Concert at Carlton’s Oldenburg House Raises Thousands for Area Hospitals

Donations from the livestream were distributed equally to four Northland Hospitals.

CARLTON, Minn.-  A popular music venue in Carlton decided to take their annual jazz concerts online, to help out healthcare workers in the Northland. While normally crooning through the estate of the Oldenburg house, songs like “Make Someone Happy” were livestreamed from one room Friday and Saturday night. The “Cookin’ at the O” Benefit Concert raised over $7,500 over the…

Remember Food Safety as Summer Barbeques Begin

St. Luke's Clinical Dietitian Dr. Brenda Schwerdt Reminds of Food Safety, Healthy Eating During Summer Months

DULUTH, Minn. – As Memorial Day weekend approaches, dietitians at St. Luke’s want to remind everyone to practice food safety precautions. Experts recommend limiting your consumption of meats and mixing in a large number of fruits and vegetables during your backyard barbeques. St. Luke’s Clinical Dietitian Dr. Brenda Schwerdt suggests grilling peaches and pineapple as well as vegetables like peppers,…

Itasca County Health Officials Urge Active Living, Healthy Eating Amid COVID-19

GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. – As of Friday, health officials in Itasca County confirm three additional COVID-19 related deaths bringing the total to five. Three of the deceased were males in their 80s, one was a male in his 90s, and details surrounding the fifth death remain unknown at this time. Itasca County reported 42 cases of coronavirus as of Friday…

Virtual Walk for Hope Raising Awareness of Huntington’s Disease

The Virtual Walk for Hope is Happening Saturday, May 16

DULUTH, Minn. – May is Huntington’s Disease awareness month across the nation. The illness is a fatal genetic disorder causing the progressive breakdown of nerve cells in the brain. This weekend, Northlanders are encouraged to walk at their own pace and help raise awareness of the disease. The Huntington’s Disease Society of America’s (HDSA) is launching the Duluth Virtual Team…

Whistleblower: US Could Face Virus Rebound ‘Darkest Winter’

(AP Photo/Tony Dejak) (AP Photo/Tony Dejak) WASHINGTON (AP) — America faces the “darkest winter in modern history” unless leaders act decisively to prevent a rebound of the coronavirus, says a government whistleblower who alleges he was ousted from his job for warning the Trump administration to prepare for the pandemic. Immunologist Dr. Rick Bright makes his sobering prediction in testimony…

No Positive COVID-19 Cases So Far From Pop-Up Testing in Two Wisconsin Counties

NORTHWESTERN WISCONSIN– COVID-19 testing that was done in partnership with the state of Wisconsin, the National Guard, and local healthcare providers turned up all negative results in two Northwestern Wisconsin counties for those who were tested last week, with some results still pending. According to the Douglas County Department of Health and Human Services, all 171 people who went to…

Welfare Checks Increase Slightly in Itasca County Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Overall Calls For Criminal Activity Are Down in Many Iron Range Cities

GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. – During a press briefing Friday, Grand Rapids Police Chief Scott Johnson had a message for residents amid the COVID-19 pandemic — to remain calm, and check up on your family, friends, and neighbors. Overall calls for criminal activity are down in the City of Grand Rapids. Shoplifting crimes are now being dealt with electronically and through…

Duluth Hospitals Confident Elective Surgeries Can Go On ‘Safely’

Both St. Luke's and Essentia Health Have Protocols in Place Before a Patient Receives a Surgical Procedure Amid COVID-19

DULUTH, Minn. – Minnesota Governor Tim Walz is allowing elective surgical procedures to start again on Monday, May 11 after hospitals take preventative measures to ensure continued safety. Before surgical dates, both St. Luke’s and Essentia Health will be testing patients for COVID-19 three days before their procedure. They will then ask patients to quarantine themselves up until the date…

Temporary Drive-Thru Site Offers Coronavirus Testing in Ashland

ASHLAND, Wis. – Temporary coronavirus testing sites are popping up in northern Wisconsin. As of May 7th, more than 9,200 people have tested positive for COVID-19 across Wisconsin. But in Ashland, Bayfield, and Iron Counties combined, there have been only seven positive test results. Now, the National Guard is bringing testing sites to that region to get an accurate look…

Officials: Northland Likely to See a ‘Wave’ Rather Than ‘Surge’ in COVID-19 Patients

St. Luke's and Essentia Health Update The Public on a Weekly Basis Regarding Preparations, New Scientific Models

DULUTH, Minn. – With strict social distancing measures in place, local health experts now believe the Northland will likely not see a surge in COVID-19 patients, but rather a wave or the occasional spike in cases. During a weekly press briefing from St. Luke’s and Essentia Health Thursday, a panel of doctors and researchers gave an update on the projection…

Trump Administration Buries Detailed CDC Advice on Reopening

(AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File) GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — The Trump administration shelved a document created by the nation’s top disease investigators with step-by-step advice to local authorities on how and when to reopen restaurants and other public places during the still-raging coronavirus outbreak. The 17-page report by a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention team, titled “Guidance for Implementing the Opening Up…

St. Luke’s Reminds Patients to Seek In-Person Care for Medical Emergencies

Many Patients Are Receiving Mixed Messages About Medical Care Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

DULUTH, Minn. – Staff at St. Luke’s Hospital in Duluth urge patients to come into their facilities if you are experiencing a medical emergency. They’ve received reports of patients receiving mixed messages when it comes to handling medical emergencies during the COVID-19 pandemic. “If you have a medical problem, it’s safe to come see your physician,” said Dr. Nick Johnson,…

Gov. Walz Allows Elective Surgeries Statewide; Essentia, St. Luke’s Say They’re Ready

The Governor signed an executive order Tuesday allowing elective surgeries and procedures, reversing an order from March.

DULUTH, Minn.- An executive order from Governor Tim Walz gave the green light for healthcare providers to resume elective surgeries and procedures on May 11th. A move officials at Essentia Health and St. Luke’s Hospitals in Duluth said they are ready for. Health systems statewide have lost about $1 billion a month since procedures and surgeries were banned in March,…

Free Pop-Up COVID-19 Testing Events Happening in Northwestern Wisconsin

WISCONSIN — As states gather more testing kits for COVID-19, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers has announced that free testing sites will pop-up in counties across Northwestern Wisconsin through at least mid-May. The testing will be done in areas that currently lack it or where there might be higher rates of the virus, according to the state. The pop-ups will be…

Minnesota Surpasses 6,000 Confirmed COVID-19 Cases

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – The Minnesota Department of Health reports that nearly 500 people tested positive for COVID-19, putting the state over 6,000 cases. Officials say 21 of the 24 deaths in Saturday’s report occurred in long-term care facilities, including one Clay County resident who was at least 100 years old. The state also reported the death of a Hennepin County…

Itasca County Health Officials Address Mental Health Concerns Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Area Partners Have Developed a Website With a Plethora of Mental Health Resources

GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. – As of Friday, there are 11 lab-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Itasca County. While the numbers remain low compared to nearby St. Louis County (73 cases, 11 deaths), officials are seeing an increase in calls and outreach to local mental health service centers. First Call for Help of Itasca County is a private, nonprofit community organization…

St. Luke’s, Essentia Health in Need of Mask Donations

Duluth Hospitals Launch "Land of 10,000 Masks" Campaign

DULUTH, Minn. – Northlanders are used to living in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, but now St. Luke’s and Essentia Health are looking to make a slight adjustment amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The healthcare facilities have teamed up to launch a new campaign, “Land of 10,000 Masks.” The mask donation drive comes as both hospitals prepare to handle a surge…

Trump Set to Order Meatpacking to Stay Open As Plants Deal with Staff Shortage

If this continues, experts say it could drastially effect the nation's food supply chain.

SUPERIOR, Wis. On Tuesday President Donald Trump said he will sign a five-page executive order declaring meat processing plants critical infrastructure, ordering them to remain open–as facilities are dealing with a shortage of workers and an increase in demand. “We always work with the farmers,” Trump said. “There’s plenty of supplies, as you know this, plenty of supply, it’s distribution…

Superior Police Officer Helping Others Through Pandemic With Daily Facebook Posts

SUPERIOR, Wis. – We are now more than a month into the stay-at-home order in Minnesota and Wisconsin as thousands are jobless, businesses are shut down and emotions are running higher than ever. But there’s one police officer in Superior who’s trying to help guide those emotions in a positive way through posts on the department’s Facebook page based off…

Healthcare Heroes Celebrated with Handpainted Sign Outside St. Luke’s

Duluth Street Art Initiative Made a 4-ft by 8-ft sign in front of the St Luke's Clinic on East First Street.

DULUTH, Minn.- Healthcare workers looking out the windows of the buildings on the St. Luke’s Campus will now be treated to a big sign reading “Thank You Frontline Heroes,” put together by local artists and local officials. “When they’re laying down that kind of sacrifice, I think it’s important for them to know we’re here, and we care,” said Minnesota…

National Bank of Commerce Donates 8,000 N95 Masks to Duluth Hospitals

St. Luke's and Essentia Each Received 4,000 N95 Masks Thanks to National Bank of Commerce

DULUTH, Minn. – With a nationwide shortage of N95 masks, and states told they must find supplies themselves, it’s becoming more difficult by the day to obtain a stockpile for Northland hospitals. On Wednesday, National Bank of Commerce gifted St. Luke’s Hospital in Duluth a supply of 4,000 N95 masks for healthcare workers on the front lines to utilize. Another…

Duluth Pastry Chef Spreading Sweetness, Safety with Delivery of Cakes, Masks

Sweet Exchange delivery is going contactless with orders of cakes and cupcakes, along with a free handmade mask.

DULUTH, Minn.- A local pastry chef who was hoping to open a new storefront in Downtown Duluth is continuing to bring sweetness to people, with an added bonus. The owner of Sweet Exchange is taking phone orders for contactless delivery of cakes and cupcakes. Think Ding Dong Ditch with a cake waiting on your doorstep. She’s also handmaking cloth masks…

West Duluth Sewing and Design Selling Handmade Masks to Stay Afloat

The sewing and alterations business is selling masks for $6, the only business they are getting right now with proms and weddings cancelled.

DULUTH, Minn.- At first, West Duluth Sewing and Design’s foray into making masks started with a donation. Now it’s their only real income, with cancelled proms and weddings slowing business. A nursing home in Moose Lake asked the owners, Jeaneth and Harold Deterling, to make and donate about 50 masks a week, being paid just for materials. “She asked me…

Two New COVID-19 Cases, Ninth Death Reported in St. Louis County

Total number of cases in the county is now 48.

MINNESOTA- Two new Coronavirus cases, and one death were reported in St. Louis County Sunday, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. The county now has 48 positive cases and nine deaths total. Statewide 13 new deaths were reported Sunday, bringing the total number to 134, according to MDH. Minnesota now has 2,356 positive cases, with 1,160 individuals released from…

New COVID-19 Death Reported in St. Louis County, New Positive Case in Early 20s

As of Saturday there are 46 confirmed cases in the County.

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Minn.- One new individual has died from COVID-19 in St. Louis County, according to the Minnesota Department of Health, bringing the total number of deaths to eight. The deceased is a woman in her early 80s, and was living in a long-term care facility. Another case of COVID-19 was confirmed in the county Saturday, to be a…

Gov. Walz Calls on Minnesotans to Donate Homemade Masks

State health officials report 143 new COVID-19 cases and 10 new coronavirus deaths statewide

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Gov. Tim Walz is calling on Minnesota residents to make homemade masks for those most at risk of the coronavirus. Walz said Saturday that people should drop off the masks at their local fire departments next Saturday so that they can be delivered to senior living facilities and other group homes for employees and residents to wear….

Eating Better to Boost Immunity, Heart and Lung Health

DULUTH, Minn. — We might be reaching for comfort foods right now, but health experts recommend eating healthy to boost your lung and heart health, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. New research published in the Oxford Academic Journals last month found that adding more fresh produce into your diet and reducing red meat, dairy, and sugar intake can dramatically lower…

Sutherland CBD, Dr. Juice Offer Hand Sanitizer, Donate Hundreds to First Responders

The pair are are selling bottles at cost for $3, all sales going back into production.

SUPERIOR, Wis.- Sutherland CBD and Dr. Juice USA, both on Tower Avenue, are now offering handmade hand sanitizer. And hundreds of bottles of their product are going to first responders in need. “In these difficult times everybody’s got to do their part to stop the spread of this thing, to stay safe,” said Jacob Tout, CEO of Dr. Juice USA….

Veterans Can Get Financial Support During Pandemic

Veterans can receive $1,000 each in financial relief.

DULUTH, Minn- Minnesota veterans are getting financial relief to help them recover from the impacts of Covid-19. In March, the Minnesota Legislature and Governor Tim Walz approved a one-time relief grant worth more than $6 million to be awarded to veterans. On a first come first served basis veterans in need of the support can receive $1,000 each to counter…

Free Masks Bring Long Line to Vikre Distillery

Lake Superior Medical Equipment and Duluth Screen Printing team up to make 175 masks to distribute at Vikre.

DULUTH, Minn.- The Center for Disease Control has updated its recommendations, advising people to wear masks while out in public. Now Vikre Distillery is partnering with local businesses to distribute free cloth masks to Northlanders, along with hand sanitizer. “Keeps us busy while we’re closed, and feels really nice to be able to help the community that way,” said Doug…

Seven New COVID-19 Deaths Reported in Minnesota Saturday

ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Department of Health reports 64 people have died from COVID-19 statewide as of Saturday, April 11th. That’s seven more deaths than were reported Friday, April 10th. 1,427 Minnesotans have now tested positive for the virus, 91 more than on Friday. Of the people who tested positive, 793 are no longer needing isolation. As of…

Minnesota Launches Free Program to Help People Quit Smoking, Vaping, and Chewing Tobacco

MINNESOTA – The Minnesota Department of Health just launched a new program to help people who are interested in quitting smoking, vaping, or chewing tobacco. The program, called Quit Partner, offers free, personal counseling over the phone and online, plus it sends free lozenges, gum, and patches to help your body wean itself off of nicotine. There are an estimated…

Three COVID-19 Deaths, 17 Total Cases Reported at St. Ann’s Residence in Duluth

DULUTH, Minn. – Three deaths related to the novel coronavirus have been confirmed at St. Ann’s Residence in Duluth. The assisted living center has 17 total cases. COVID-19 fatality rates can be as high as 40 percent in assisted living facilities. That’s what makes the outbreak so concerning to St. Ann’s 138 residents and 100 staff members. The Minnesota Department…