COVID-19

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…

Wisconsin Health Leaders Explain Vaccine Distribution as State Gets First Shipment

Meanwhile, the spread of the virus isn't slowing down in the state. 

MADISON, Wis.- Wisconsin received 10,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine Monday, with about 35,000 more doses expected by the end of the week. The first rounds are going to frontline healthcare workers and to nursing home residents in a couple weeks. The general public will not have access to the vaccine for months as the state deploys this historic rollout…

Mike’s Cafe and Pizzeria Opens in Esko

ESKO, Minn. – A familiar restaurant has moved into the building previously occupied by Eskomo Pizza Pies in Esko.  Mike’s Cafe and Pizzeria, which spent nearly four decades in western Duluth as Mike’s Western Cafe, opened up in early November. With the owner growing up in the town, he says that despite the pandemic, the community response has been uplifting…

Gov Walz: ‘The end of COVID is out there’ with Vaccine Rollout Likely Next Week

If approved, the state would receive 46,800 shots from Pfizer by next week.

ST. PAUL, Minn.- Minnesota Governor Tim Walz unveiled the state’s plan for getting Minnesotans vaccinated against coronavirus, some as soon as the coming weeks. “This day is real, it’s happening, it is really here. In Minnesota, we’re prepared for it,” said the Governor in a press conference Tuesday. “We are on the doorstep of starting this.” According to the Minnesota…

Gov. Evers Asks Wisconsin for Caution Over Holidays As COVID-19 Surge Continues

Wisconsin is getting close to having 420,000 total cases since March with 3,800 deaths.

MADISON, Wis.- Wisconsin will get 50,000 vaccines to start once it’s approved and will first go to long-term care facility residents and healthcare workers. Governor Evers said in a virtual briefing Tuesday that even through the United States is closer to approving the vaccine, there’s no backing away from all the precautions we still need to take to keep ourselves,…

Wisconsin Health Officials Discuss How COVID-19 Vaccine Will Be Distributed

WI DHS stressed the safety of the vaccines, and how long they still have to go before reaching the public.

MADISON, Wis.- In Wisconsin Monday, health experts held a news conference answering COVID-19 vaccine questions. They say of the two vaccines awaiting FDA approval, Pfizer’s would require cold storage at -70°C±10°C for up to 10 days unopened in the state’s Healthcare Emergency Response Coalition (HERC) regions before going to clinics. Moderna’s, which does not require cold storage, would go directly to…

Gov. Walz, MDH Trim Recommended Quarantine to 10 or 7 Days After COVID Exposure

A full 14-day quarantine after being exposed to someone with COVID-19 is still the most safe, officials said.

ST.PAUL, Minn.- Governor Tim Walz and state health leaders announced changes Monday to how long people should quarantine if exposed to someone with coronavirus, and also prepped the state for new mitigation efforts to come within the week. “The fact of the matter is a 14-day quarantine is the best thing to do. But the science has been refined enough…

Drive-Thru Event Gives Back to Range Community Members

The annual community connect event is usually held in October.

VIRGINIA, Minn. – The Miners Memorial Building in Virginia held a different type of opportunity for community members to give back on Thursday.  The annual community connect event is usually held in October. Now, because of Covid-19 the event has changed to a drive-thru experience while still providing community members on the range in need of winter wear like hats,…

Superior City Council Approves CARES Act Fund Request for Housing, Community Programs

This could bring about $139,000 to help with housing programs and other community aid organizations. 

SUPERIOR, Wis.- New federal CARES Act money could be going to help housing and community development programs in Superior. The Superior City Council Tuesday voted to approve the 2019 Community Development Block Grant Cooperative Action Plan authorizing staff to submit a plan to U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. This could bring about $139,000 to help with housing programs…

Caution Again Advised for Christmas; Vaccine on Horizon for Public in 2021 Gov. Walz Says

After a surge in cases over Thanksgiving, the Governor said guidance will likely remain for Christmas, and public access to the vaccine in 2021.

ST. PAUL, Minn.- Governor Tim Walz and State Health leaders spoke out in a COVID-19 briefing Monday after a Thanksgiving weekend like no other. They stressed continued mitigation efforts by Minnesotans, with the horizon of a vaccine in the distance — in 2021. “Minnesotans did a pretty good job staying home, but there’s some data on movement especially the airport…

Cloquet VFW Delivers Thanksgiving Meals to Community Members

Dozens of community members took the time to cook, distribute, and deliver these meals.

CLOQUET, Minn. – Volunteers for the Cloquet VFW began preparing Thanksgiving meals in the early hours of Thursday morning. Dozens of community members took the time to cook, distribute, and deliver these meals. On a day when Thanksgiving will be different for some, they are doing their part to make sure everyone has something to be thankful for. Check out…

Superior Restaurants See Extra Customers from Minnesota After Gov. Walz’s Restrictions

While business owners in Superior said they welcome the extra business, they said they feel for the restaurants suffering in Duluth.

SUPERIOR, Wis.- Restaurants in Superior are seeing more customers from across the bridge four days into Minnesota’s four-week-long restrictions closing in-person dining. Governor Tim Walz turned the dial back Friday, to try and keep the mounting COVID-19 case numbers from maxing out capacity at hospitals statewide. While business owners in Superior said they welcome the extra business, they said they…

Local Entertainment Venues Awaiting Financial Relief

With the future of some of these local businesses resting on seeing financial relief at the state level all they can do now is wait.

DULUTH, Minn. – Entertainment Venues are among the many Northland businesses hit hard financially by the pandemic. During these next four weeks, they will get some help through the Minnesota Governor’s recently announced plan for a Business Assistance Program. Without this relief, they may not be able to survive. Fresh off of a multi-million dollar renovation in 2019, Skyline Lanes…

Plans Underway for 2021 Lake Superior Ice Festival with COVID-19 Changes

The Ice Festival is tentatively set for the last weekend of January, but officials said nothing is for sure with the pandemic.

SUPERIOR, Wis.- The annual Lake Superior Ice Festival in Superior is so far still a go this year, with changes to follow COVID-19 health guidelines. According to organizers the popular snow-slide is expected to be back, you’ll just need to bring your own sleds this time around with a limited supply of disinfected ones available for those who won’t be…

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…

Proctors School Added to MN Department of Health Outbreak List

The district cites staff shortages and increasing infection rates

PROCTOR, Minn. – Bay View Elementary School in Proctor was placed on the Minnesota Department of Health’s Outbreak list on Thursday. It’s meant for school buildings which have five or more reported Covid-19 cases between students and staff in a two-week period. Proctor previously announced they will continue with their distance learning model through January 4th. The district cites staff…

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…

Superior Police Work to Mitigate COVID-19 Exposure Within Department

To date, six officers have tested positive since March and only one officer is in quarantine awaiting test results.

SUPERIOR, Wis.- The Superior Police Department is also dealing with COVID-19 exposures within its department of 65 officers and staff. To date, six officers have tested positive since March and only one officer is in quarantine awaiting test results. Assistant Chief John Kiel told FOX 21 most officers have a take-home vehicle and are encouraged to spend as little time…

Salvation Army Short of Thousands of Red Kettle Bell-Ringers Due to COVID-19

Right now more than 2,300 shifts are unfilled at the 17 kettle locations in Duluth. 

DULUTH, Minn.- The Duluth Salvation Army is in desperate need of bell ringers for its annual Red Kettle Campaign which starts Saturday. Right now more than 2,300 shifts are unfilled at the 17 kettle locations in Duluth. Salvation Army officials said lack of volunteers is mostly due to COVID-19 fears, but bell-ringing is safe they say. All one has to…

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…

Superior Seeing Lower Unemployment Numbers

After high unemployment rates in the spring, the Mayor attributes the drop in those numbers to more businesses opening up.

SUPERIOR, Wisc. – The Wisconsin’s Department of Workforce Development has recently released unemployment numbers showing a decline in the month of September for Superior. After high unemployment rates in the spring, the Mayor attributes the drop in those numbers to more businesses opening up. The city saw numbers drop from 21% in April to just under 7% in September. That…

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…