Coronavirus

Experience ‘Summer Camp in a Box’ with Great Lakes Aquarium

Due to Coronavirus Concerns, The Great Lakes Aquarium Remains Closed to the Public

DULUTH, Minn. – Back in April, the Great Lakes Aquarium was forced to furlough 46 employees after Minnesota Governor Tim Walz ordered the closure of all non-essential businesses. Currently, 11 staff members report to work daily. Around 80 percent of the aquarium’s funding comes from ticket sales and field trips. Donations are being accepted through the attraction’s website to help…

A & Dubs Opens For Summer in West Duluth After COVID Delay

Customers excited to eat outside the neighborhood favorite again.

DULUTH, Minn.- A & Dubs, the drive in burger spot in West Duluth, opened to a parking lot full of excited customers Monday. A & Dubs normally opens the day after Mother’s Day but they delayed resuming business due to the Coronavirus. Customers said they were anxious to get back to the neighborhood staple they grew up with. “It’s just…

As Duluth Curfew Ends, Police Chief Says “We Have to Find Equality for Everyone” Going Forward

Less arrests were made during a more peaceful Sunday night, leading Mayor Larson to lift the curfew.

DULUTH, Minn.- The city-wide curfew has been lifted in Duluth since Saturday night’s protest that turned violent in Lincoln Park– and that lift, said Mayor Emily Larson, is largely because people voluntarily complied Sunday night. “Because last night went so well, because the community stepped up and provided the kinds of support many of us have needed to feel, we…

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…

Local Organization Launches Mask Force Initiative

The artists have made over one-thousand masks since April which will be distributed to community housing organizations in Duluth. 

DULUTH, Minn. – Despite closing temporarily due the Covid-19 pandemic, Zeitgeist, and artists from the Renegade Theater got to work and began making masks. The artists have made over one-thousand masks since April which will be distributed to community housing organizations such as: Life House, AICHO and the Damiono Center. “Our goal is to give as many masks away to…

Cloquet Thrift Store Closes Permanently

The shut down is the result of the new financial climate with Covid-19. 

CLOQUET, Minn. – After more than 30 years in business, the Salvation Army thrift store in Cloquet is closing its doors for good. The shut down is the result of the new financial climate with Covid-19. The non-profit began looking at their mission of helping people with basic needs, paving the way for a larger good shelf to take the…

Animal Allies Moves Forward With Reduced Summer Camp Class Sizes

Summer Camps Will Begin in June With Reduced Class Sizes Due to COVID-19

DULUTH, Minn. – Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, many summer events are canceled, but Animal Allies Humane Society in Duluth has figured out a way to still host educational summer camps with restrictions in place. “We worked really hard collaborating with other humane societies to see what we could offer our community after a stressful period of sheltering in place and…

“Land of 10,000 Masks” Campaign Sees Success, More Masks Still Needed

1,399 masks were donated in the first week. That number jumped to 3,354 masks in the second week, and 5,230 masks in the third week. 

DULUTH, Minn. – Weeks after the campaign launch, community members have donated more than 10,000 face masks. These homemade masks will help limit the spread of Covid-19. They are worn by staff, patients, and visitors to St. Lukes and Essentia Health facilities. 1,399 masks were donated in the first week. That number jumped to 3,354 masks in the second week,…

Duluth Council Approves Spirit Mountain Summer Closure; Extra $350K Still Needed for Winter Reopening

The adventure park's financial request comes while the city is facing a potential $38 million budget shortfall.

DULUTH, Minn.- The Duluth City Council unanimously passed Spirit Mountain’s annual multi-million dollar budget Tuesday evening, which is also calling for extra funding later this year to get the park reopened for the winter season after being shut down for the rest of the summer. Councilors just approved the adventure park’s $4 million operating budget for the 2020-2021 season, but…

From Boats to Bottle Rockets: Summer Businesses See Busy Memorial Day Weekend

Marinas and Firework shops see increased business from families trying to have a good time in these tough times.

SUPERIOR, Wis.- Memorial Day is looking a lot different in the Northland with parades and firework shows cancelled due to the Coronavirus. So in addition to honoring fallen heroes, people flocked to more popular summer businesses in Wisconsin to get out of the house and try to do something special. “Folks are like ‘I’ve seen enough of my home, it’s…

745 New Cases, 12 New Deaths Reported in Minnesota Monday Tied to COVID-19

Of the 12 New Deaths, 10 Were Residents of Long-Term Care Facilities

ST. PAUL, Minn. (FOX 9) – The Minnesota Department of Health reported 745 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases and 12 new deaths Monday, bringing the total number of positive cases the state has seen so far to 21,315 and the death toll to 881. Of the 12 deaths, 10 were residents of long-term care facilities. Residents of long-term care facilities now…

COVID-19 Related Deaths in Wisconsin Surpass 500

As of Saturday, Wisconsin Reported a Total of 14,877 Positive COVID-19 Cases; New Numbers to be Released Monday Afternoon

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Wisconsin has gone over 500 confirmed deaths from the coronavirus, according to state Department of Health Services figures released Saturday. The report showed 481 new COVID-19 cases over the weekend, for a total of 14,877, and an additional 11 deaths, for a total of 507. Two news deaths were reported in Milwaukee County, increasing the county’s…

City of Duluth Works to Make Outdoor Seating, Liquor Licenses Easier for Bars and Restaurants

Some businesses are taking advantage of waived permit fees, while others must continue relying on takeout and curbside.

DULUTH, Minn.- Duluth city officials are making changes to policies and processes to allow greater flexibility for bars and restaurants who may not be outfitted to continue operating without dine-in customers. “Just like the city is struggling with the financial impact of this public health emergency, we know that our local businesses are struggling with this public health emergency,” said…

Gov. Walz Allows Places of Worship to Open Doors to Limited Capacity May 27th

The Governor and the Catholic Archdiocese came to a deal to gather more than 10 worshipers together at a time.

DULUTH, Minn.- Minnesota Governor Tim Walz and the Catholic Archdiocese of Minnesota came to a deal Saturday to allow places of worship in the state to open May 27th to groups larger than 10 people. This announcement comes on the day when the state is reporting a record number of COVID-19 cases. The Governor’s order states that places of worship,…

Cloquet Students Bid Farewell to Teachers

Organizers say, although this wasn't the end of the year they wanted teachers are getting the send-off they deserve.

CLOQUET, Minn. – Washington Elementary in Cloquet held their second “reverse parade” allowing students to be driven around the school to wish their teachers well. Organizers say, although this wasn’t the end of the year they wanted teachers are getting the send-off they deserve. “Today would have been our field day and we wanted to do something to celebrate for…

YMCA’s Camp Miller Announces They Will Be Open for Summer Season

Camp Miller, With Permission from Governor Tim Walz, Will Be Allowed to Host Family Camps Only

  STURGEON LAKE, Minn. – The YMCA’s Camp Miller in Sturgeon Lake, Minnesota, is celebrating its 122nd summer season this year amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Leadership learned earlier this week from Minnesota Governor Tim Walz, they will be allowed to open this summer for family camps only, with restrictions in place to prevent further spread of coronavirus. “We want…

Duluth Bar, Restaurant Owners Surprised, Disappointed at Walz’s Outside Seating Restrictions

Different issues arise with just outside seating.

DULUTH, Minn.- Minnesota Governor Tim Walz loosened restrictions on business beginning June 1st. Bars and restaurants can open on that date with outdoor only seating, serving no more than 50 customers at a time and with employees wearing masks. “That extends to how do we find that new normal, restart Minnesota’s economy and I should say grow it from where…

DTA Looking to Increase Services

"When we go back to our higher level service we will be at 83 percent or about 48 buses."

DULUTH, Minn. – “We made significant changes to our operations and the way we do business,” Duluth Transit Authority General Manager, Phil Pumphrey says. Since March, the Duluth Transit Authority has reduced services to just 24 buses running at only 43 percent of what is normal. “When we go back to our higher level service we will be at 83…

2020 All Pints North Festival Canceled

The Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild Board of Directors Released the Details Wednesday Morning

DULUTH, Minn. – Wednesday morning the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild (MNCBG) Board of Directors announced the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 All Pints North Festival scheduled for August 1, 2020, at Bayfront Festival Park in Duluth. The decision comes amid many other summer cancellations due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. “The health and safety of craft beer fans, brewery…

Eveleth Bar Owner: ‘June 1st is Really the End of the Wire’

Owners of bars, restaurants, and other businesses met in Eveleth to discuss opening strategies, and share frustrations with the state's handling of things.

EVELETH, Minn.- Businesses across Minnesota are anxiously awaiting the Governor’s announcement Wednesday authorizing them to open June 1st, including up on the range in the small town of Eveleth that has a population of 3,596. “Walz opening up on the first at a capacity of 25%? That’s. Not. Enough,” said one business owner. Bar and restaurant owners in Eveleth said…

Miller Hill Mall Businesses React to Reopening

The Miller Hill Mall opened back up on Monday after being shut down for over two months. 

DULUTH, Minn.-The Miller Hill Mall opened back up on Monday after being shut down for over two months. “It was kind of sporadic. I think a lot of people were kind of seeing what’s open, who’s here and what’s going on,” Apricot Lane Duluth Owner, Wendy Meyers says. For local businesses like Apricot Lane Duluth, it was a breath of…

Boating Businesses Ready to Set Sail with Modifications for Safety

Vista Star and Pontoons out of Pier B are changing their operations to ensure passengers have a safe nautical experience.

DULUTH, Minn.- As summer gets closer, Duluth begins to shine as a waterfront destination again. After looking at summer with uncertainty, boating rental and tour services are excited to say they can provide people that gateway to the big blue lake. The Vista Fleet is missing the big Memorial Day opening, but owner Justin Steinbach expects to be open by…

Skywalk Re-Opens after Two-Month Closure, Businesses Hope for Foot Traffic Again

Frame Corner and Gallery looks to recover as long as people come in to shop.

DULUTH, Minn.- Downtown Duluth is reconnected once again with the Skywalk back open after a two-month closure due to COVID-19. The Skywalk was noticibly emptier than usual, but that didn’t stop businesses from swinging their doors open. Frame Corner and Gallery in the Holiday Center has been selling custom frames through curbside pickup but owner Sara Sarvella said she’s looking…

Lakewood Elementary Teachers, Staff Say ‘Thank You’ Before Summer Vibes Sink In

Teachers, Staff Organize Drive-By Parade to Wish Students Well as the School Year Comes to a Close

DULUTH, Minn. – Hundreds of smiling faces drove past Lakewood Elementary School in Duluth Monday. The teachers and staff recently coming up with an idea to safely see their students and say ‘thank you’ for a great year even though it didn’t get to end as planned. “I miss my teachers all I can,” said Wyatt, a first-grade student at…

Superior Businesses Navigate Operating Safely After First Weekend Open

Douglas County officials urge businesses to follow guidelines, and they may shut them down if they receive complaints.

SUPERIOR, Wis.- It was the first weekend that businesses in Wisconsin were suddenly given the green light to open after the state’s stay at home order was thrown out by the Wisconsin Supreme Court–now business owners in Superior say it’s time to figure out how to open safely. The jingle of the door opening is a sound not heard at…

14 Year-Old Gets Personal Birthday Parade

Traffic on Arrowhead Road honked to wish Haley a Happy Birthday.

DULUTH, Minn.- On Saturday a Duluth teenager got her own personal birthday parade to help her celebrate another milestone. Much of the traffic on Arrowhead Road honked to celebrate Haley Kovach-Hubert turning 14. The birthday girl also got a special parade organized by her family. Haley says despite not having a party, this birthday was one to remember. “I feel…

Virtual UMD Commencement Still One to Remember, Graduates Say

2300 graduated online, with video speeches and a slideshow.

DULUTH, Minn.- About 2,300 seniors graduated from UMD this year, but they’re listening to pomp and circumstance in their own homes, virtually. “Being a family of five we just try and make it as special as we can,”  said Music Education major Hunter Hamby. “We know we can’t emulate the big celebration sort of thing.” That big celebration would normally…

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…

CHUM Food Shelf Seeking Donations For New Vehicle

The organization is looking for donations to upgrade their pickup vehicle to meet demand.

DULUTH, Minn. –  CHUM food shelf continues to stay open for anyone with food insecurities. Since the pandemic started, the organization began doing a curbside system where people can pick up pre-made boxes of food. Now, with the food shelf receiving close to sixty-thousand pounds of items over the last two months. The organization is looking for donations to upgrade…

Memorial Blood Centers Have Increased Need For Donors

Healthy individuals that have been free from cold or flu-like symptoms for up to three days can schedule an appointment.

DULUTH, Minn. – With hospitals now able to do more elective surgeries blood donations are in a critical need. Healthy individuals that have been free from cold or flu-like symptoms for up to three days can schedule an appointment. There are new protocols in place at each Memorial Blood Center site. “We are practicing social distancing. Right now, most of…

Superior Bars React to Safer-at-Home Order Struck Down by Wisconsin Supreme Court

The order, as well as the six-day injunction, were rejected, leaving businesses free to open immediately.

SUPERIOR, Wis.- Just as quickly as some say it started, Wisconsin’s safer-at-home order is, for now, finished–struck down by the State Supreme Court. Businesses statewide, including bars and restaurants, now have the green light to “open immediately” according to a social media post by the Tavern League of Wisconsin. “Come on in!” said Cory Gatzke, triumphantly throwing open the shades…

St. Louis County Projects Budget Shortfall, No Layoffs So Far

The County is also waiving late fees for property owners who apply for an extension to July.

DULUTH, Minn.- COVID-19 has dealt a financial blow to St. Louis County in the form of a projected budget shortall. According to County Auditor Nancy Nilsen, the budget shortfall is expected to be at least $6 million. She said her office is not looking at layoffs or furloughs, but instead plan to save money with a hiring freeze leaving about…

2020 Duluth Monarch Festival Cancelled Due to COVID-19 Pandemic

Duluth Monarch Buddies Made the Announcement Tuesday Morning on Social Media

DULUTH, Minn. – Monarch butterflies will soon be fluttering back into the Northland, but there won’t be a festival to celebrate them this year. Duluth Monarch Buddies took to social media Tuesday morning, announcing the cancellation of the 2020 Duluth Monarch Festival. The event was scheduled to take place on Saturday, June 13. Members of the group say an outdoor…

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…

St. Scholastica Spring Commencement Goes Virtual, Seniors Look Back on Last Year

While disappointing, not having an in-person commencement doesn't change the fact that they completed four years of college, seniors say.

DULUTH, Minn.- Graduating seniors at the College of St. Scholastica are celebrating the end of their college lives a bit differently than they may have expected: with a virtual commencement ceremony. This time last year, there was a full gymnasium filled with caps and gowns. “I was homeschooled high school so I never had the ceremony so I was really…

Cloquet High Seniors Pick Up Graduation Cap and Gowns Drive-Thru Style

Teachers, Family and Community members wear purple and come out in support.

CLOQUET, Minn.- Picking up your graduation cap and gown is a big moment for high school seniors. So the Cloquet High School Administration and the surrounding community made it even bigger, while still maintaining social distance–having them available as a drive-thru. “It really boiled down to some form of togetherness,” said Principal Steve Battaglia. A chorus of honks greeted Cloquet…

Bailey Builds Allows Customers to Shop from their Cars

Car-side shopping is in addition to curbside pickup and an online store.

DULUTH, Minn.- An arts studio and store on Grand Avenue in Duluth is changing the way they bring handmade gifts to customers. You can now shop Bailey Builds from your car. One of the staff members will meet you at your vehicle with a mask and gloves to find out what you’re looking for, come back with gift ideas, and…

Minnesota Law Enforcement Seeing Spike in Speed Related Traffic Violations

DUI Traffic Citations Are on the Decrease Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. – Law enforcement authorities in Minnesota want to remind residents their main goal through the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is to support local health officials and encourage safe social distancing practices. During a press briefing Friday by Itasca County law enforcement officials, the Minnesota State Patrol shared how troopers are seeing an uptick in speeding violations throughout the…

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…

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…

Fond Du Lac Reservation Seeking PPE Donations

CLOQUET, Minn. – The Fond Du Lac Reservation is seeking donations of personal protective equipment. The Reservation has been screening people entering the tribal center for well over a month. Now, the band is in need of N-95 and cloth masks, disinfectant wipes and thermometer covers so they can be distributed throughout the community. “Our Fond Du Lac community has…

Some Duluth Restaurants, Hotels Look Toward Uncertain Future

Hotels and restaurants try to stay afloat after decreased business for this long.

DULUTH, Minn.- As many local businesses in the hospitality industry make adjustments to continue staying open, for others that might not be an option. Dubh Linn Brew Pub in Downtown Duluth is changing their business model, offering delivery of growlers of their in-house brew, cider, wine, and food five days a week from 4pm-8pm. “People are looking for a reason,…

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,…

White Spruce Market Seeing Spike in Business Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

The Locally Handcrafted Gift Boxes Are Proving to be Popular Gifts As Stay-At-Home Orders Continue

DULUTH, Minn. – Mother’s Day is less than a week away, and with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it’ll most definitely look a little different this year. The ‘new normal’ isn’t stopping the tradition of gift-giving, however. Locally handcrafted White Spruce Market is seeing a big spike in business as consumers look to stay connected by gift-giving.  Bailey Aro Hutchence is…

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…

Northland Foundation, Area Partners Raise $2 Million for COVID-19 Financial Relief

Relief Funds Will Be Used For Multiple Programs, Local Businesses in Northeastern Minnesota

DULUTH, Minn. – The Northland Foundation has been serving seven counties including five tribal nations in Northeastern Minnesota since the 1980s. The foundation strives to economically support residents and businesses in the region, especially during financially difficult times. “We’re doing our best to connect our businesses and our people with those resources both in our region, in the state, and…

Silver Bay Grocery Store Offering Curbside Service to Elderly Residents

With Help From North Shore Area Partners, More Than a Dozen Silver Bay Residents Utilize the Service

SILVER BAY, Minn. – We’ve heard it before, coronavirus doesn’t discriminate. Although no cases have been reported in Lake County thus far, residents remain cautious, practicing social distancing and limiting trips out of the home. Many small-town residents are stepping up to alleviate stress while helping those in need. “I spend an hour in here just talking. It takes me…

Some Superior Businesses Relieved with Governor’s Loosened Restrictions

Gov. Evers's new emergency order allows no contact business.

  SUPERIOR, Wis.- Business owners in Superior are slowly getting back to as close to normal as they can be after Governor Tony Evers announced some non-essential businesses can open in a limited capacity. “It’ll be the new normal, whatever that is,” said Kat Senn. Under Emergency Order 34, certain non-essential businesses are allowed to start resuming business only through…

Fuel Experts Weigh In On Oil Price Drop

DULUTH, Minn. – With fuel prices at an all-time low, experts suggest now may be the best time to fill up your propane tanks. In the short term, consumers will benefit from the low crude oil costs due to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, there may be some negative effects in the long-term with this low price environment. “We are looking…