Coronavirus

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,…

Midday Update 7-9-21

Local News and Weather Making Headlines Friday, July 9, 2021

Join FOX 21’s Brett Scott and Meteorologist Ken Slama for a local look at news and weather making headlines Friday, July 9, 2021. Have a great day! Categories: Community, News, News – Latest News, News Update Tags: Brett Scott, community, Coronavirus, duluth, Headlines, Ken Slama, Local News, midday update, News, superior, weather

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

The 500 Million Vaccines will be Distributed Throughout 2021 and 2022

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

COVID-19 Hospitalizations Remain Steady at Essentia Health

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

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

St. Luke’s Infectious Disease Specialist Encouraging Teen COVID-19 Vaccinations

According to St. Luke's, Demand for Teen COVID-19 Vaccinations Has Been High Since Approval was Given

DULUTH, Minn. – Although fewer children and teens have been infected with COVID-19, they can still become infected and also spread the virus to others. Local infectious disease experts with St. Luke’s are encouraging parents to bring their teens aged 12-15 in for the COVID-19 vaccine. Dr. Sherry Johnson, Infectious Disease Specialist at St Luke’s, says parents are coming in…

St. Louis County Public Health Prepares to Vaccinate Teens Aged 12-15

Vaccinations Would Begin Once the ACIP Votes to Move Forward with Pfizer Vaccinations for Teens Aged 12-15

DULUTH, Minn. – The FDA now says the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is safe and offers strong protection for younger teens based on the testing of 2,000 volunteers. Shots could begin soon once a federal vaccine panel issues recommendations for using the vaccine in that age bracket. St. Louis County Public Health is already planning. Officials with the county say they’re…

COVID-19 Cases, Hospitalizations Trend Up in Itasca County as Vaccine Rollout Continues

Itasca County Public Health Division Urges All Residents to Research and Receive Their COVID-19 Vaccination

GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. – Itasca County Public Health and area residents are reflecting on the gratitude of science after surpassing the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Public Health Department reports new cases of COVID-19 to continue to rise in Itasca County, especially among residents aged 30 – 50, and school-aged children. As of Thursday, April 29, in the…

St. Luke’s Seeing Rise in Middle Aged Patients Hospitalized with COVID-19

Hospitilizations Declined in February and March, but Dr. Andrew Thompson Says the Rate is Beginning to Rise Again

DULUTH, Minn. – A recent report released by the CDC shows nearly eight percent, or five million Americans have not received their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. St. Luke’s Infectious Disease Specialist, Dr. Andrew Thompson, has mixed reaction to the new data. Thompson says while the number is somewhat cause for concern, 92 percent of adults who have received…

Youth Aged 16-18 Encouraged to Sign Up for COVID-19 Vaccination in Itasca County

A Vaccination Clinic Will Take Place Saturday, April 24 from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. in Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. – Even with the pause of Johnson & Johnson’s COVID vaccine, the rollout continues to be strong in Itasca County. Public health leaders say only 6.6 percent of the vaccines delivered to Minnesota have been from Johnson & Johnson. As of Thursday, April 15, 78 percent of the 65-plus population in Itasca County has been vaccinated while…

Ely Business Owners Optimistic for Brighter Days Ahead

From Taprooms to Outfitters, Ely Businesses Remain Optimistic as Summer Tourism Season Inches Closer

ELY, Minn. – As the pandemic continues, there’s no doubt about it, many of us are counting down the days until summer finally sets in, allowing for more time outdoors, and the perfect setting to safely visit with friends and family. “All the campsites are at least 1/8 mile apart, so I guess social distancing is just perfect. You can’t…

Itasca County Health Officials Urge Caution as More Residents Receive Vaccine

Health Officials Also Report a Decline in the Number of Domestic, Sexual Abuse Cases as the COVID-19 Pandemic Continues

GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. – The vaccine rollout continues to be strong in Itasca County. The county has a population of over 45,000 residents. So far, just over 20,000 have received at least one shot of the COVID-19 vaccine. As of Thursday, Mar. 18, 12,382 residents have received at least one shot, while 7,752 residents are fully vaccinated. Health officials report…

Local Financial Professional Explains Latest COVID-19 Relief Bill

Barry Bigelow with Great Waters Financial Explains What the American Rescue Plan Means for Individuals Moving Forward

DULUTH, Minn. – Congress has passed a third relief bill, known as the American Rescue Plan. So, what’s included in this third stimulus package? Local financial professional Barry Bigelow from Great Waters Financial breaks down the details of the bill for consumers, small businesses, and the unemployed. What’s included in the American Rescue Plan? $1,400 Stimulus Payments • Lawmakers have…

Essentia Health President: “Routine Care Essential, Safe Amid COVID-19 Pandemic”

Dr. Jon Pryor, President of Essentia Health in Duluth, Says Routine Care Appointments Shouldn't Be Put on the Back Burner

DULUTH, Minn. – Many Northlanders are left wondering what comes next in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. As concerns remain high, local hospital officials want to remind residents it’s safe, and important to continue scheduling routine medical exams and screening procedures. Dr. Jon Pryor, President of Essenita Health in Duluth, says his facility is seeing a 33 percent decrease…

St. Luke’s Hospitalist Depicts Daily Routine, Optimism as COVID-19 Vaccinations Continue

Dr. Jake Powell with St. Luke's Hospital in Duluth Discusses What It's Like to Work on the Frontlines Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

DULUTH, Minn. – As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc on healthcare systems across the nation, locally, Northland hospitals are thankful to see a decrease in new cases and severe hospitalizations. Dr. Jake Powell is a hospitalist with St. Luke’s in Duluth. He says as COVID-19 cases are decreasing, his daily routine continues to be inundated with many patients…

Northland Doctor Reminds Residents COVID Vaccines Are Safe, Extremely Effective

Dr. Charles Kendall with Community Memorial Hospital in Cloquet Discusses Vaccine Safety and Efficacy

CLOQUET, Minn. – According to the Minnesota Department of Health, over one million Minnesotans have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Locally, in Carlton County, a region with a population of over 35,000, data shows more than 10,000 residents have received at least their first shot. Dr. Charles Kendall with Community Memorial Hospital in Cloquet says he’s…

Nearly 16 Percent of Residents in Itasca County Have Received the COVID-19 Vaccine

Clinics Continue to Offer COVID-19 Vaccinations, But Demand is Far Greater Than Supply Received

GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. – The vaccine rollout continues in Itasca County, but demand is still far greater than the supply they’ve received. Health officials say nearly 16 percent of the population in Itasca County has received at least one shot of the COVID-19 vaccine. According to Itasca County Public Health, phase 1a of vaccinations should be complete within the next…

Itasca County Health Dept. Urges Patience, Caution as Vaccine Rollout Continues

Residents Will Be Notified When It's Their Turn to be Vaccinated

GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. – COVID vaccinations continue to roll out for residents in Itasca County. Public health officials say they are currently in the process of inoculating those working in schools and childcare facilities, as well as residents who are 65 and older. In the past seven days, 35 new cases of the virus have been confirmed in Itasca County….

St. Luke’s Now Offering Monoclonal Antibody Treatment for Eligible Patients with COVID-19

The Treatment is Found to Have Reduced COVID-19 Hospitilizations

DULUTH, Minn. – St. Luke’s in Duluth is now offering an emergency use COVID-19 antibody treatment that medical experts say has been proven to reduce the length of hospitalizations. The monoclonal antibody treatment is produced in a lab. The antibodies work to attack the COVID-19 virus in the patient’s system. St. Luke’s Infectious Disease Specialist, Dr. Andrew Thompson, says the…

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…

Vice President Pence Receives COVID-19 Vaccine

It's Still Unclear When President Trump Will Receive the Shot

WASHINGTON (AP) – Vice President Mike Pence has received the coronavirus vaccine during a White House event aimed at convincing skeptical Americans that the vaccines are safe. Pence’s wife, Karen, and Surgeon General Jerome Adams also got the vaccine on Friday during the event that was televised. In remarks after his shot, Pence called the speed with which the vaccine…

New App to Launch in Wisconsin Letting Residents Know of COVID-19 Exposure

Residents Will Receive a Push Notification Before the App Goes Live

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – A new mobile app will launch next week in Wisconsin that will let people know if they have been in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. Gov. Tony Ever announced the new app on Thursday. The app, which launches Wednesday, is meant to bolster the state’s contact tracing efforts. The app is voluntary…

Iron Range Restaurant Owners React to Second Shutdown Order

Restaurant Owners on the Iron Range are Feeling the Financial and Emotional Strain From Minnesota's Second Shutdown Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

EVELETH, Minn. – Hundreds who work in the service industry continue to be impacted by the second COVID-19 shutdown in Minnesota. As Christmas comes quickly, the financial strain is not only impacting restaurant owners but the many employees who rely on tips to make ends meet. “It’s upbeat, it’s fun, there are people everywhere,” said Jessica Lietz, owner of Boomtown…

Minnesota Legislature Passes Virus Aid for Businesses, Workers

The Bill Now Moves to the Governor's Desk for Final Approval

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – The Minnesota Legislature has voted to pass a package of coronavirus relief measures aimed at businesses and workers who took the biggest hit from a four-week “pause” ordered by Gov. Tim Walz last month. The Senate voted 62-4 to approve the bill and send it to the House, which was passed it 117-13 late Monday night and…

Great Lakes Aquarium Providing Ways to Stay Connected Despite Second Shutdown

Aquarium Staff Say Memberships, Adoptions, and Virtual Learning are Great Ways to Stay Connected During the Shutdown

DULUTH, Minn. – The doors at the Great Lakes Aquarium in Duluth are now closed for a second time this year. Minnesota Governor Tim Walz recently announced another statewide closure on bars, restaurants, gyms, and entertainment venues due to a rise in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations across the state. The aquarium will remain closed for a four week period, however,…

UK Officials Authorize COVID-19 Vaccine for Emergency Use

Vaccinations Expected to Begin Next Week in United Kingdom

LONDON (AP) – British officials have authorized a COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use, greenlighting the world’s first shot against the virus that’s backed by rigorous science and taking a major step toward eventually ending the pandemic. The go-ahead Wednesday for the vaccine developed by American drugmaker Pfizer and Germany’s BioNTech comes as the virus surges again in the United States…

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…

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…

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…

Tough Road Ahead After Gov. Walz’s New Restrictions, Local Bars Say

The restrictions limit bars and restaurants to below 50% capacity with no more than 150 people total, with mandatory closure 10p-4a.

DULUTH, Minn.- Minnesota Governor Tim Walz turned the dial back Tuesday, with new COVID-19 restrictions on social gatherings and bars and restaurants in particular. Some local bar owners and staff throughout Duluth spoke out. Gov. Walz says these rules are because 71% of COVID cases from June to November were spread through private social gatherings, weddings, funerals, and bars. In…

Essentia Health President Urges Residents to Follow Guidelines as COVID Hospitalizations Increase

Dr. Jon Pryor, President, Essentia Health, Urges Northlanders to Be Smart, Mask Up, Follow COVID Safety Guidelines

DULUTH, Minn. – The coronavirus is making headlines daily, however, as COVID fatigue begins to set in, Dr. Jon Pryor, President of Essentia Health, is urging Northland residents to remain vigilant, and exercise extreme caution as the virus begins to take a toll on local hospitals. “Things are going okay, but things are tight. Our resources are being challenged, and…

Record-Breaking Growth in COVID-19 Cases Causing Concern in Northland

St. Louis County Health Officials said in the last two months, half of the county's coronavirus cases have been a result of community spread.

DULUTH, Minn.- As the state of Minnesota reported their highest daily COVID-19 case amount since the pandemic began City of Duluth officials, St. Louis County Public Health, School leaders and top doctors from St. Luke’s and Essentia say that upward trend is visible in the Twin Ports as well. Since Wednesday, St. Louis County is reporting a record jump of…

A Place for Fido Expanding in Duluth’s Fitger’s Complex

Jamie Parent, Co-Owner of A Place for Fido, is Aiming to Open the New, Bigger Location by Mid-November

DULUTH, Minn. – Expanding a business is no easy task, but for the owners of one local pet supply store, this year has been full of first-time adventures. The COVID-19 pandemic isn’t putting a pause on expansion plans at A Place for Fido in the Fitger’s complex. “One thing that’s super exciting is we’re going to have a lake view,”…

Working, Playing From Home? These Tech Gadgets Help Make Your Life Easier

Remote Work and Learning Habits - Making Life Easier for Parents and Kids Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

DULUTH, Minn. – Are you still working and playing mostly at home? Verizon Wireless has new tech for helping families who are doing all their daily tasks in one place. Samsung Galaxy A71 5G UW If you want a 5G-powered phone for as little as $20 a month (with additional trade-in options) – check out the Samsung Galaxy A71 5G UW….

St. Luke’s Infectious Disease Expert Discusses COIVD-19 Severity, Holiday Concerns

Dr. Andrew Thompson is an Infectious Disease Physician at St. Luke's in Duluth

DULUTH, Minn. – Daily COVID-19 testing data released by the Minnesota Department of Health shows a steady rise in COVID-19 cases, deaths, and hospitalizations in recent weeks, and it’s prompting local health experts to speak out with a reminder for residents. “The recent rise in COVID-19 cases is definitely causing concern,” said St. Luke’s Infectious Disease Dr. Andrew Thompson. Thompson…

Gov. Evers Limits Indoor Capacity in Wisconsin, Set to Use $100 Million to Help Small Businesses

No more than 25% the total capacity of an indoor public space is allowed beginning Thursday until November 6th. 

MADISON, Wis.- Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers announced Tuesday he is dialing back the opening of the state, issuing his third emergency order to limit indoor building capacity to 25%, effective Thursday. While ramping up restrictions the Governor also announced $100 million in additional funding to support the state’s small businesses. No more than 25% the total capacity of an indoor…

MDH Continues to Urge Duluth Trump Rally Attendees Get Tested Frequently for COVID-19

State health officials said it's important that those who attended to get tested frequently until they've cleared the two-week mark. 

ST. PAUL, Minn.- As President Donald Trump returns to the White House after being treated for the virus Monday, Minnesota state health officials continue to urge people who were at his rally in Duluth to get tested several times over the next few weeks. In a COVID-19 Briefing Monday, Minnesota Department of Health leaders said just because you test negative…

Second Harvest North Central Food Bank ‘Gingerbread Giving Tree’ Program in Jeopardy

The Grand Rapids Bases Food Bank is Forced to Make Some Changes Ahead of the Holiday Season

GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. – Second Harvest North Central Food Bank is having to make changes as they work through the COVID-19 pandemic. With the holiday season quickly approaching, there will be changes to this year’s Itasca Holiday Program organized by North Central Food Bank. Due to financial difficulty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization will not be offering the…

Recap: Pres. Trump Rallies Thousands in Duluth Hoping to Flip Minnesota Red

"I lose Minnesota, I'm never coming back," he said.

DULUTH, Minn.- The Northland is hot off President Donald Trump’s campaign stop in Duluth Wednesday — one night after his fiery debate with Vice President Joe Biden. This was the President’s second visit to Minnesota, the first being in Bemidji two weeks previous, on the trail to get Trump the states he says he needs to be reelected this November….

Itasca County Health Dept. Urges Caution As COVID-19 Cases Climb

COVID Questions? Contact Itasca County COVID Message Line at 218-327-6784

GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. – Cases of COVID-19 continue to climb daily in Itasca County, according to Kelly Chandler, department manager, Itasca County Public Health. During a mass drive-thru testing event on Sept. 23 at the Itasca County Fairgrounds, 907 individuals were tested, 15 positive cases were identified, and three of those cases were asymptomatic. As of Thursday, Oct. 1, the…

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers, Health Officials Urge State to Take Virus Seriously Ahead of Winter

"If we do nothing differently, I would say it's a high likelihood that this is going to get much worse before it gets better," said the Chief Medical Officer. 

WISCONSIN- As the state of Wisconsin comes off of their highest single day jump in COVID-19 cases this weekend, Governor Tony Evers and public health officials urge Wisconsinites to take the virus more seriously going into the winter. Positive cases in Wisconsin increased by more than 2,000 each day for the past four days. Monday, there were 2,367 more cases….

Duluth City Council to Vote On Proposal Monday to Fund Spirit Mountain Through Winter

The proposal would call for $340,000 from the half-and-half tourism tax to reimburse Spirit Mountain for money they spent on their lift system, snow-making equipment and alpine coaster over 2018, 2019, and 2020.

DULUTH, Minn.- Spirit Mountain could see life this coming winter, if Duluth City Council approves a new proposal to use money from the city’s half-and-half tourism tax to cover operation costs. Heard at an agenda session Thursday, the proposal would call for $340,000 from the half-and-half tourism tax to reimburse Spirit Mountain for money they spent on their lift system,…

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…

John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon Hosting Virtual 5K Fundraiser

The Fur-K Virtual Race is Happening Sept. 25 - 27, 2020

DULUTH, Minn. – Like many organizations this year, the John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon is expecting to take a hit due to the ongoing financial effects COVID-19. To help raise funds, Beargrease board members have come up with the inaugural Fur-K ‘virtual 5K.’ The race will take place Friday, Sept. 25 – Sunday, Sept. 27 on your own time. Participants…

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…

Donald Trump Jr. Makes Pitch for Father on Duluth Stage

"They say we can't win Minnesota. I disagree, what about you?" he said at the podium at the DECC.

DULUTH, Minn.- To a DECC ballroom of 250 Trump supporters, Donald Trump Jr. used his “Make America Great Again” event to bolster his father’s first term in office while bashing his Democratic opponent Joe Biden. “They say we can’t win Minnesota. I disagree, what about you?” he said at the podium to an eruption of cheers. The eldest Trump son…

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…