Coronavirus

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…

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…

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…

UMD Staff Member Creates Unique Signs for Social Distancing

The goal is to help ease students transitioning back to campus

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UMD, UWS, LSC Students Gear Up for Academic Year Full of Changes as School Starts

All schools are taking precautions such as increased signage for social distancing, hand sanitizing stations throughout campus, and extra staff to sanitize spaces and classrooms routinely. 

DULUTH, Minn.- Online v.s. in-person class settings, class sizes, and even semester start dates are all being changed at Northland colleges and universities this year, as students gear up for an academic year like no other. The August 31st starting date at UMD hangs in uncertainty as the Board of Regents is set to vote Monday on whether or not…

Iron Range Businesses Recognized by Chamber of Commerce with Awards Ceremony

The normal awards banquet scheduled this year was canceled due to coronavirus-related restrictions, but the chamber still found a way to honor Range businesses. 

VIRGINIA, Minn.- Businesses on the Iron Range were recognized for their contributions to the community at Olcott Park in Virginia Wednesday. The Laurentian Chamber of Commerce Honored them as part of this year’s award ceremony. The normal awards banquet scheduled this year was canceled due to coronavirus-related restrictions, but the chamber still found a way to honor Range businesses. The…

North Shore School Districts Release Fall Learning Plans

Cook County, Silver Bay, and Two Harbors Release Back-to-School Plans Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

COOK COUNTY, Minn. – The Cook County School Board voted Thursday evening to begin the academic year for ISD 166 on a distance learning model for all students grades K – 12. Superintendent Bill Crandall says the School Board not only took into consideration the current COVID-19 case numbers in Cook County, but what health experts are predicting could happen…

New Scenic Cafe Hitting the Road with ‘Scenic 61’ Food Truck

Restaurant owner adds food truck to methods of staying afloat while dine-in restaurant remains closed.

DULUTH, Minn.- After months shut down due to the pandemic, food is available at New Scenic Cafe on Highway 61 again — this time on wheels, as the Scenic 61 food truck opened Wednesday. Originally set up to carry food down to the now canceled Minnesota State Fair, Scenic 61 is now carrying the business through the summer as its…

Coalition of Downtown Duluth Businesses Kick off Friday ‘HART Happy Hour’

HART Happy Hour Takes Place Every Friday in August

DULUTH, Minn. – A coalition of businesses located in the Historic Arts and Theater District in Downtown, Duluth, also known as HART, have come together to create HART Happy Hour every Friday in August. HART Happy Hour is meant to provide an atmosphere for the community to connect, socialize, and help stimulate the local economy. Every Friday in August from…

Schools in Itasca County Provide Update on Fall Learning Plans

School Leaders in Itasca County Provide Update on District Plans for Back-to-School Learning Amid COVID-19

ITASCA COUNTY, Minn. – On Thursday, Superintendents from multiple school districts in Itasca County provided an update on back-to-school plans amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Minnesota Governor Tim Walz recently announced a statewide decision to leave reopening plans up to district officials based on current COVID-19 data per county. Independent School District 318 (Bigfork and Grand Rapids) Based on current COVID-19…

Duluth Superior Pride Festival Going Virtual Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Duluth Superior Pride Virtual Festival Begins Thursday, September 3, 2020

DULUTH, Minn. – The 34th annual Duluth Superior Pride Festival will go on virtually this year amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Event organizers say after months of discussion, it simply wasn’t responsible to move forward with an in-person celebration as in year’s past. “I think it’s extremely important to host a virtual celebration. Pride is based on community and taking 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…

International Falls Area Businesses Experience Impact of COVID-19

U.S., Canada Border Closure Impacts Businesses in the International Falls Area

INTERNATIONAL FALLS, Minn. – COVID-19 continues to keep a tight lockdown on our daily lives and routines. Businesses are being impacted, and communities are having to come together now more than ever before to help one another. The community of International Falls, situated right along the Canadian border, is feeling the economic impact due to the ongoing U.S., Canadian border…

Pandemic, Rainy Weather Cause Smaller Turnout at Head of Lakes Fair

Organizers say a couple hundred people attended this year.

SUPERIOR, Wis.- As the Head of the Lakes Fair in Superior comes to a close, organizers said fears of the pandemic and some nasty weather kept a lot of people from coming during their six-day run. Normally attracting thousands to the Fairgrounds on Tower Avenue over the course of the fair, the director of the Head of the Lakes Fair…

Superior Mayor Encourages Compliance of Mask Mandate Effective Monday

SUPERIOR, Wis.- Starting Monday masks will be required in all indoor public places in Superior. Last week the Superior City Council voted 9-1 in favor of the mandate, with Councilor and bar owner Keith Kern the only vote against. Businesses that don’t enforce the rule could be punished of for a licensing violation, and face the same consequences as they…

Thousands Attend Effie, MN Rodeo Protesting Governor Walz’s COVID-19 Restrictions

Billed as largest longest running rodeo in country, many protested what they called Government overreach.

EFFIE, Minn.-  As Minnesota’s mask mandate takes effect, Governor Tim Walz reminded the state that it’s important for people to follow his directives to slow the spread of COVID-19 — but at a small town rodeo, some do not believe government intervention is necessary. Thousands of people packed the stands at the 65th Annual North Star Stampede Rodeo in Effie…

Itasca County Officials Provide Update on COVID-19, Senior Living Facilities

Cases of COVID-19 Continue to Climb in Itasca County

ITASCA COUNTY, Minn. – Officials say coordination has been key to successful COVID-19 response strategies inside long term care facilities in Itasca County. Health professionals and management from many of the senior care facilities in the county provided an update Thursday morning on response efforts. Management from The Emeralds at Grand Rapids report they haven’t had any new cases of…

Duluth Hotel Industry Slowly Picking Up, Hoping to Reach Last Summer Numbers

According to Visit Duluth hotels citywide during the pandemic saw 15-20% of available rooms early at their lowest point. 

DULUTH, Minn.- The largest hotel in Duluth, Holiday Inn and Suites on First Street Downtown says while business doesn’t look like last summer, it is picking up. The staff at Holiday Inn say occupancy is down 50%  from what it was last summer. According to Visit Duluth hotels citywide during the pandemic saw 15-20% of available rooms early at their…