COVID-19

UW System President Visits Area College

The clinic is also open to the public.

SUPERIOR, Wisc. — The President of the University of Wisconsin system was in Superior today to tour the campus vaccination clinic. The former governor of Wisconsin Thommy Thompson was also in town promoting students to get their Covid-19 vaccine. The UW System president set up 70 scholarships for universities in the system that get seventy percent of their students vaccinated….

Ret. Gen. Colin Powell Dies of COVID-19 Complications

WASHIINGTON (AP) – Colin Powell, former Joint Chiefs chairman and secretary of state, has died from COVID-19 complications, his family said Monday. In an announcement on social media, the family said Powell had been fully vaccinated. Powell was the first African American to serve as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and secretary of state. But his reputation also…

Beds, Staff at Duluth Hospitals Stretched Thin Under St. Louis County’s COVID Surge

COVID patients take up 59 of the hospital beds at Essentia St. Mary's Medical Center -- the highest they've seen since last winter. At St. Luke's, 25% of the ICU beds are filled with COVID patients.

DULUTH, Minn.- St. Louis County continues to see an uptick of COVID-19 cases, while the country overall is seeing a dip. The surge is continuing to fatigue health systems according to experts, as they urge more to get vaccinated and mask up. “Now, while much of the country experiences a decrease in COVID transmission following the latest peak, there’s some…

Doctors Say Flu Shot is Extremely Vital in a COVID-19 World

Doctors with MedExpress Recommend Patients Receive Both the COVID-19 Vaccine, and a Flu Shot this Season

DULUTH, Minn. – Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re also approaching one of the most critical seasons for the health of Americans – flu season. Although COVID-19 safety measures, such as wearing a mask, staying home, social distancing, and handwashing contributed to a decline in 2020-2021 flu incidence, flu viruses are constantly changing and it’s not unusual for new flu viruses…

DECC Expands Covid-19 Test Site Location

As Covid-19 cases continue to rise in the Northland public health officials are seeing a similar trend.

DULUTH, Minn. — As Covid-19 cases continue to rise in the Northland public health officials are seeing a similar trend. “We are about where we were at the beginning of November last year before we had the vaccine and we were going into our peak,” St. Louis County Public Health Division Director, Amy Westbrook says. That’s why Minnesota Governor Tim…

Northland Health Experts Warn of ‘Severe’ Flu Season to Come, On Top of Pandemic

The shadow looming over all this, according to experts, is the stress healthcare systems nationwide are already under.

DULUTH, Minn.- According to Northland health experts, the outlook for this year’s flu season is not good, as they prepare for a one-two punch of the flu and the ongoing COVID-19 surge. “A lot of people are back out doing their normal activities, we’re not in quarantine so those factors will play a role in what could be a severe…

Public Health Officials Concerned with New Covid-19 Cases in St. Louis County.

On Friday, both St. Luke's and Essentia Health announced northland residents can make appointments to receive the booster shot next week.

DULUTH, Minn. — Last week alone, 600 new cases of Covid-19 were detected in St. Louis County a trend that is all too familiar for public health officials. “We are really hoping that we don’t see the increase that we did following September last year. We had a big spike in October and going through November and December,” St. Louis County…

Duluth School District Sees Rise in Covid-19 Cases

A few days ago, there were four staff and eight students that had contracted the virus.

DULUTH, Minn. — The Duluth School District has seen an increase in Covid-19 cases within the district. A few days ago, there were four staff and eight students that had contracted the virus. The district says now they’re dealing with even more, but could not specifically say how many at this point. Students are encouraged to get tested before returning…

Vaccination Rates Vary Widely on UW-System Campuses

UW-System Promotes Scholarship Drawing Aimed at Boosting Vaccination Rates Among Students

MADISON, Wis. (AP) – University of Wisconsin officials say student vaccination rates for COVID-19 vary widely among the system’s campuses. At the Madison campus, 91% of students are fully vaccinated, the highest number among the system’s universities. The lowest number of vaccinated students are at UW-Parkside where 38% have been inoculated. Other campuses range from 75% at La Crosse to…

Biden Easing Restrictions for Foreign Travel, Requiring Vaccines

U.S. Foreign Travel Restrictions will Begin to Ease in November

WASHINGTON (AP) – The White House says President Joe Biden will ease foreign travel restrictions into the U.S. beginning in November and allow foreign nationals into the country if they have proof of vaccination and a negative COVID-19 test. The new rules replace a hodgepodge of restrictions that had barred non-citizens who had been in certain countries in the prior…

Itasca County Health Officials Concerned as Delta Variant Spreads

Vaccination Rates Continue to Climb, but Health Officials Say More Work Needs to be Done

ITASCA COUNTY, Minn. – Health officials in Itasca County are looking to get ahead of the spread as the Delta variant of COVID-19 is being passed through community transmission. “We have to get back to basics. Everyone is tired of COVID and no one wants to be doing this anymore, but we do know what works,” said Kayla Scrivner, COO…

Proctor Rails Back With In-Person Classes

Even though all school facilities have a mask requirement, students and faculty don't seem to mind.

PROCTOR, Minn.– School is back on track in Proctor where the Rails came back to in-person learning full time. “Kids settle back into some of the routines they had before COVID and shut down. It’s been so nice to have the kids back and seeing their faces again. The excitement around the school is outstanding,” Proctor High School Principal, Tim…

Parents of Minnesota Students File Suit Seeking Mask Mandate

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz is Reviewing the Complaint

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Some parents of students at Minnesota K-12 schools that have not required face coverings have filed a lawsuit asking the governor to enact a statewide mask mandate because of the spike in COVID-19 cases. The complaint filed in Ramsey County Friday by a group calling itself “Parents Advocating for Safe Schools” cites a provision in…

Great Northern Classic Rodeo Preps Begin

After having one of their biggest years in 2019, the rodeo was canceled last year due to Covid-19 concerns.

SUPERIOR, Wisc. — The 30th annual Superior Great Northern Classic Rodeo will kick off this Friday. After having one of their biggest years in 2019, the rodeo was canceled last year due to Covid-19 concerns. This year, organizers are expecting another large crowd throughout the weekend with people coming to enjoy some of the western flair and something new this…

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,…

St. Luke’s, Essentia Health Reporting Steady Rise in COVID-19 Hospitalizations

Both Healthcare Facilities Continue to Urge Unvaccinated Northland Residents to Receive Their COVID-19 Shot

DULUTH, Minn. – Essentia Health and St. Luke’s are both reporting a steady increase in patients hospitalized with COVID-19. In both facilities, patients are coming in after being diagnosed with the more transmissible Delta variant of the virus. “We need to all do this together. It isn’t about politics, it’s about people’s lives,” said Dr. Peter Henry with Essentia Health….

Essentia Health President Discusses New CDC Guidelines, Push to Vaccinate the Unvaccinated

Dr. Jon Pryor, President of Essentia Health, Talks Vaccinations and Routine Medical Care

DULUTH, Minn. – Minnesota health officials are warning the highly contagious Delta variant of COVID-19 now accounts for more than 75 percent of the state’s new cases. “This is turning out to be a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” said Dr. Jon Pryor, President of Essentia Health. “If you’re vaccinated, you still could get COVID, odds are pretty low.” Pryor says…

Grand Rapids Business Owners Experiencing Positive Economic Rebound

Crowds are Coming in Droves to Many Locally Owned Businesses in the City of Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. – Small business owners on the Iron Range are continuing to witness more customers coming back through their doors as COVID-19 restrictions ease, and more people become vaccinated. Staff at Thousand Lakes Sporting Goods in Grand Rapids are seeing droves of people coming in to purchase clothing, footwear, bait, and fishing gear. With the continued closure of…

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. Lukes Continues Vaccinations of International Sailors

Another international vessel will soon arrive in the Twin Ports with crew members planning on receiving their vaccinations once they dock.

DULUTH, Minn. — St. Luke’s continued their vaccinations of international sailors in the Twin Ports Wednesday morning. About 20 sailors from India aboard the Federal Champlain received the Johnson & Johnson vaccination. Because of the pandemic, these sailors haven’t been able to go to shore as they faced local regulations from each country they visit. “There families are going to be…

St. Luke’s Sees Increase in Vaccine Availability

St. Luke's currently has 850 vaccines available for eligible recipients.

DULUTH, Minn. — St. Luke’s now has a large number of Covid-19 vaccine appointments available. St. Luke’s currently has 850 vaccines available for eligible recipients. Doctors say, 58% of St. Louis County members have received at least one dose of the vaccine, but they are hoping that number can increase in the coming days. “We’re just trying to get as…

Vaccine Clinic Opens at Wessman Arena

The clinic is located on the UW-Superior campus at Wessman arena in partnership with AMI Healthcare.

SUPERIOR, Wisc.-A new community vaccination clinic has opened in Superior. It’s the first of its kind in Northwest Wisconsin. The clinic is located on the UW-Superior campus at Wessman Arena in partnership with AMI Healthcare. This arena has the capacity to vaccinate 500 people per day. “It is safe. People may be hesitant to be around others. But you’re still…

Wisconsin Expands Vaccine Eligibility

As of today, 34% of Douglas County residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

SUPERIOR, Wis. — Today, Wisconsinites 16 years and older now are eligible to receive a Covid-19 vaccine. With Governor Tony Evers making the announcement, Wisconsin residents now have an increased eligibility to get vaccinated. As of today, 34% of Douglas County residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine. Health officials say they are prepared for more members…

Temporary Vaccine Clinic Held at Black Bear Casino

The next round of vaccines will take place in 28 days at the same venue in the casino.

CARLTON, Minn. — “The first word that comes to mind is excitement,” Public Health Nurse, Casey Johnson says. It was a joint effort to make the Moderna vaccine available for Carlton County residents. For the first time the vaccine was available to Fond Du Lac community members in a public setting. “It’s definitely part of our plan and our mitigation…

City of Superior to Host Traditional 4th of July Festivities

Mayor Jim Paine says, with the recent drop in cases in Douglas County and an increase in vaccinations, they should be able to have all of their events as scheduled. 

SUPERIOR, Wisc. – The city of Superior will have more of a traditional 4th of July this year. Mayor Jim Paine says, with the recent drop in cases in Douglas County and an increase in vaccinations they should be able to have all of their events as scheduled. This includes a fireworks show on Barkers Island. He says, having all…

Health Department Assists Rural Minnesota Town with Covid-19 Testing Site

East Range Communities and the city of Aurora are doing their part to stop the spread of COVID-19.

AURORA, Minn. – A temporary COVID testing site is now open at the Aurora Community and Senior Center. Due to the recent spike in cases in the area, the Minnesota Department of Health got the go-ahead to open up a facility in the East Range Area. “What we noticed over the last few weeks specifically in town here and kind…

Essentia OB-GYN Breaks Down Questions, Answers Surrounding COVID-19 & Vaccines

Dr. Michael Kassing with Essentia Health Discusses the Common Questions & Concerns He Receives from Expecting Mothers Amid the Pandmic

DULUTH, Minn. – Expecting a newborn is stressful for parents at any time, then toss in a global pandemic, and anxiety can soar through the roof. Dr. Michael Kassing is an OB-GYN with Essentia Health in Duluth. He says many of his patients are coming in with questions regarding whether or not they should receive the COVID-19 vaccine while pregnant….

Iron Range Businesses React to Capacity Increase

"I think that's an excellent win for restaurants and bars. I'm extremely happy to be at that capacity now," Sawmill Saloon Owner, Alyssa Horan says. 

VIRGINIA, Minn. –  Several local businesses on the Iron Range gathered at the Sawmill Saloon and Restaurant in Virginia to voice their concerns about how the pandemic has impacted their revenue. “Turning of the dials came as a surprise which is hard to plan for. Businesses have a plan. They have their own plan and Minnesota should have a plan…

KYN: Frame Up

The owners of the shop are thankful for these artists allowing them to stay busy in these difficult times.

DULUTH, Minn. – A local frame up shop in Grand Rapids has been thriving during the pandemic with owner Eric Mann taking it over nearly three years ago. “The majority of our work is custom framing. So people bring in their own artwork and pick out mats, pick out frames and make it look good,” Frame Up Owner, Eric Mann…

Duluth Students Near Full In-Person Learning

Other grades will be transitioned in next following week as part of the hybrid learning model. 

DULUTH, Minn. –  6th, 9th, and 12th graders were in attendance today at Duluth area schools on Monday. Other grades will be transitioned in next following week as part of the hybrid learning model. During the week, the freshman are getting tours and used to their surroundings while the seniors received help with classes they may have been struggling with…

Gov. Walz: 1 Million Vaccinated in Minnesota, on Anniversary of State’s First COVID-19 Case

Additionally, he announced that nearly 55% of Minnesota’s educators, school staff, and child care providers have gotten a shot.

DULUTH, Minn.- The State of Minnesota reached a new milestone in vaccinations, as Governor Tim Walz announced one million Minnesotans have been vaccinated Saturday, the one-year anniversary of the first case of COVID-19 appearing in the state. Gov. Walz shared the news on his Facebook page Saturday. Today, exactly one year after Minnesota’s first confirmed case of COVID-19, we reached…

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…

Walmart and Sams Club to Begin Offering Vaccines for Eligible Recipients

The two stores will begin administering the vaccinations in Minnesota starting on Friday

DULUTH, Minn. – Walmart and Sams Club Pharmacies will be yet another location for people to get Covid-19 vaccinations. The two stores will begin administering the vaccinations in Minnesota starting on Friday as part of the U.S Federal Retail Pharmacy Program. Any eligible customers are urged to schedule an appointment via the companies websites once they are available. For more…

St. Louis County Sees 900 Small Businesses Apply for Phase 3 Grants

The total amount of aid requested comes out to $16.4 million. The county has $3.8 million dollars in grant funding from the state to distribute.

DULUTH, Minn.- 900 businesses in St. Louis County have sought relief through Phase 3 of the county’s small business relief grants. The total amount of aid requested comes out to $16.4 million. The county has $3.8 million dollars in grant funding from the state to distribute. So 200 “first tier” businesses forced to close back in November that received no…

Starbase Program Inspiring STEM Students

Students are following a mission to mars story line.

DULUTH, Minn. – It was the programs first week back to in-person classes since November giving 5th grade students from Stella Maris Academy and Many Rivers Montessori a chance to get back to the books. “We take the math and science that students learn in their classrooms and kind of turn it on its head and deliver it in a…

Essentia Opens Temporary Skywalk

The skywalk will allow patients and staff easier access to Essentia Clinics first street building.

DULUTH, Minn. – A skywalk linking Essentia’s Duluth Clinic to a city parking ramp officially opened on Monday. The skywalk will allow patients and staff easier access to Essentia Clinic’s first street building. The temporary skywalk will make it safe to travel through the Vision Northland construction site. Patients and staff must be screened for Covid-19 in the clinics main…

Schouweiler Wins Beagrease Half Marathon

The mushers arrived at the Trestle Inn in Finland, Minnesota just before 6:30 a.m. Monday morning. 

FINLAND, Minn. – The John Beargrease Half Marathon officially has a winner. The mushers arrived at the Trestle Inn in Finland, Minnesota just before 6:30 a.m. Monday morning. Erin Schouweiler crossed the finish line first followed by Michael Bestgen in a close second. Rita Wehseler came in third. So far, ten total mushers have crossed the 120 finish line. Schouweiler…

Itasca County Finishing Phase 1A COVID Inoculations, Phase 1B Set to Begin Soon

Residents, Staff in Assisted Living Facilities Will Receive at Least One Dose of the Vaccine by Next Week

GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. – Public health officials in Itasca County say they’re close to finishing Phase 1a of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, and will soon begin Phase 1b. Kelly Chandler, division manager for Itasca County Public Health, says the first phase is expected to be complete within one to two weeks. The second phase will vaccinate residents 65 years and…

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…

North Shore Businesses Reopen, Hopeful for Additional Snowfall

During Winter, Businesses Along the North Shore Rely Heavily on Traffic Brought in by Snow Conditions

BEAVER BAY, Minn. – Businesses along the North Shore are breathing a sigh of relief after months of being shut down. However, many owners now have to deal with another obstacle – a lack of snow this winter. “We opened in August anticipating that things were going to get better, and then we got a rude surprise in November, and…

Grandma’s Marathon Weekend Participants Capped at Half Capacity

There will be around 10,000 race participants for Grandma's Marathon weekend. 

DULUTH, Minn. – Grandma’s Marathon announced Thursday morning that in-person capacity for the 2021 race weekend will not be increased due to public health concerns surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic. Officials with the race have capped the event for in-person runners at half capacity. In October when registration opened, there was hope that the guidelines would improve allowing for more participants…

Wis. Gov. Tony Evers Promises $200M for Broadband Access in State of the State Speech

After the pandemic was "unrelenting" in 2020 according to the Governor, he said to the people of Wisconsin "we aren't defeated." 

MADISON, Wis.- In his virtual State of the State address Tuesday, Gov. Tony Evers called on an increased focus on expanding broadband access statewide in the next biennial budget. After the pandemic was “unrelenting” in 2020 according to the Governor, he said to the people of Wisconsin “we aren’t defeated.” However he did highlight how, for distance learning, doctor tele-health…

Minnesota Dept. of Health Launches COVID-19 Vaccine Dashboard

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

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

CHUM Food Shelf Sees Record Demand in 2020, Year Ahead Looks No Better

The food shelf served more than 16,000 people in 2020, and staff expects the need to go up as much as 20% in 2021.

DULUTH, Minn.- The effects of the Coronavirus pandemic left more than 15,000 people in the Twin Ports to rely on CHUM’s Food Shelf to put food on the table — an increased demand they haven’t seen in more than a decade. “In my tenure it was a pretty big record setting year on my terms,” Distributive Services Director Scott Van…

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

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

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

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

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

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

Beargrease Without Fans Hard But Better Than Canceled Mushers, Businesses Say

Bar and restaurant owners said Beargrease is the busiest time of their year, so not having spectators will hurt business.

DULUTH, Minn.- The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic are stretching to the Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon, causing changes including not allowing fans to watch in-person. “Safety has always been the #1 priority for our organization whether it’s a COVID year or non-COVID year,” race spokesperson Monica Hendrickson said. Some of this year’s changes include closing all buildings used along the…

Silver Bay Veterans Home to Administer Covid-19 Vaccine to Residents and Staff

The Minnesota Veterans Homes are using the Moderna vaccine. 

SILVER BAY, Minn. – On Wednesday, the Minnesota Veterans Home in Silver Bay will begin to administer the COVID-19 vaccine to Residents and staff. The Minnesota Veterans Homes are using the Moderna vaccine. The vaccine is being administered by clinical leaders at each location. Other veterans homes across the state will begin their vaccinations this week. The vaccinations come after…

Sir Ben’s Welcomes Back Customers for Outdoor Dining with Fire Pit Tables

The new toasty furniture makes it easier for customers to come and follow Gov. Walz's updated orders.

DULUTH, Minn.- Sir Benedict’s Tavern on the Lake in Duluth’s Central Hillside got creative to welcome customers back outside, per Governor Tim Walz’s updated restrictions on Minnesota businesses which went into effect Saturday. New fire pit tables powered by propane tanks replaced most of their patio furniture, giving customers a toasty way to enjoy a beverage and food. On Wednesday…

Covid-19 Vaccines Distributed Throughout Wisconsin

Almost 50,000 doses were given to eight hubs throughout the state of Wisconsin so far this week to a small amount of healthcare providers.

MADISON, Wisc. – According to Wisconsin’s Department of Health, thousands of vaccines have been distributed across the state. Almost 50,000 doses were given to eight hubs throughout the state of Wisconsin so far this week to a small amount of healthcare providers. So far, almost two hundred vaccines have been administered, but how the vaccine will be administered in nursing…