COVID-19

MDH Warns Against Large Unsafe Gatherings as State Nears 100,000 COVID-19 Cases

Seven new deaths were also reported Monday, meaning 2,015 Minnesotans have now lost their lives to the virus, according to the Minnesota Department of Health.

DULUTH, Minn.- Minnesota Department of Health leaders spoke out Monday, as the total COVID-19 cases statewide gets closer to 100,000. After reaching a milestone over the weekend of 2,003,115 tests performed so far, 936 new cases were reported Monday, bringing the total to 97,638 since the pandemic began. Seven new deaths were also reported Monday, meaning 2,015 Minnesotans have now…

Fallen Firefighters Memorial Day Hits Home for Duluth Firefighter Who Lost Father in Line of Duty

Duluth Fire Equipment Operator Dylan Mills remembers his father Captain Robert Mills, while also spreading awareness of the many issues firefighters face.

DULUTH, Minn,- Flags flew at half-staff throughout the state of Minnesota Sunday, ordered by Governor Tim Walz to remember the firefighters across the state who have given their lives to keep the public safe, on Minnesota Fallen Firefighters Memorial Day. “It’s a day that’s honored every year,” said Duluth Fire Equipment Operator, Dylan Mills. “Just kind of a time of…

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…

Free COVID-19 Testing Event Planned in Itasca County

Free Drive-Thru Testing is Happening Sept. 23 at the Itasca County Fairgrounds from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. – COVID-19 continues to take a toll on employers and employees across Minnesota. Thursday during a weekly update from Itasca County Public Health Department, local health officials and management from area companies expressed the importance of communications between employees and employers when it comes to COVID-19 cases in the workplace. Employees are encouraged to brush up on…

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…

UMD Students Return to Campus on First Day of In-Person Classes

The halls were considerably bear on the first day of in-person classes with many students learning partially or completely online this year.

DULUTH, Minn.- After a two-week pause to work on safely welcoming students back, the University of Minnesota Duluth campus opened back up to students Monday. However, many instructors still have their classes completely online, leaving the few students present to seek out the campus as a place to study, and escape. “It’s been a little weird walking in and seeing…

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…

COVID-19 Creates New Connections in the World of Ballroom Dance

Superior Ballroom Dance Studio is Seeing a Slight Increase in Customers Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

DULUTH, Minn. – Small businesses across the Northland are facing extreme financial challenges amid the COVID-19 pandemic. From restaurants to boutiques, and even ballroom dance studios, changes are being made daily to keep clients engaged and revenue coming in. “I like to dance all day long and share knowledge,” said Benjamin Welch, head instructor at Superior Ballroom Dance Studio. “I…

Superior Mayor’s 2021 Budget Proposes More Officer Training, Adding Social Worker to Police Dept.

The budget makes use of the roughly $385,000 surplus from last year.

SUPERIOR, Wis.- Superior Mayor Jim Paine announced his 2021 budget proposal Monday. Calling it the most ambitious budget of his administration, it includes the largest investment into police training in the city’s history, and adding a social worker to the department. According to Mayor Paine, excess funds of $385,468 from the year 2019 will help the city forward through the…

Businesses on Iron Range Work to Recover After Slower Summer Due to COVID-19

Businesses owners say they're keeping their heads up, while local officials say the Fall and Winter seasons look bleak.

VIRGINIA, Minn.- As it has everywhere, the pandemic has put a damper on business on the Iron Range this summer — a time when many businesses just began opening back up after three months shut down. “It’s hard to know what’s going to happen with the virus,” Brooke Forseen, an employee at Canelake’s Candies in Virginia said. “It’s really just…

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…

New Covid Lab For Businesses Allows Fast Testing

This allows businesses who wish to get tested to get those results fast.

DULUTH, Minn. – At times, hospitals can be overwhelmed with testing for Covid-19 resulting in different times an individual may receive their tests back. Now, local business owner Rod Raymond has partnered with a clinical laboratory improvement amendment certified lab to provide accurate test results in 36 hours or less. This allows businesses who wish to get tested to get…

Walz to Have Flags Flown at Half-Staff

This is to honor and mourn the lives of individuals who have lost their lives to Covid-19.

DULUTH, Minn. – Governor Tim Walz has directed flags at all federal and state buildings be flown at half-staff on Wednesday. This is to honor and mourn the lives of individuals who have lost their lives to Covid-19. Flags will be flown at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on the 19th of each month for the remainder of 2020. Categories:…

DECC Chef Brings Barbecue to Hillside with Pop-Up ‘Howard’s Q’ to Stay Afloat Without Work

Howard's Q is serving fresh ribs, rib tips, Jerk Chicken and more right next to the Shanty Bottle Shop on 4th Street on weekends. 

DULUTH, Minn.- A local cook is bringing barbecue to the East Hillside Neighborhood in Duluth while making the most of being out of work during the pandemic. Howard’s Q is serving fresh ribs, rib tips, Jerk Chicken and more right next to the Shanty Bottle Shop on 4th Street on weekends. The cook, Howard Ross, was a Sous Chef at…

Blacksmiths Forge Interest in Metalworking at Glensheen Mansion

DULUTH, Minn.- Visitors at Glensheen Mansion Saturday got to learn about an old-fashioned trade — being a blacksmith. Forging Community’s blacksmiths were on the mansion grounds demonstrating metal working and smithing. Glensheen staff say they appreciate having them every year and they are an even more valuable attraction during the pandemic. “For the public it’s always kind of fun to…

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…

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…

Gov. Walz Says Mask Mandate Will Help Keep Businesses Open, Infection Rate Down

As of Saturday masks will be required in all indoor public spaces.

MINNESOTA- On Wednesday, Minnesota joined over two dozen other states in requiring masks to be worn in all indoor public places statewide. That new Executive Order by Governor Tim Walz goes into effect Saturday morning. You can find the full executive order here. “This is a small sacrifice for a potentially big gain,” Gov. Walz said. “The upside of the…

Cloquet City Council Passes Mask Mandate; Votes to Take Effect August 1st

While some councilors supported the language of the ordinance, others thought enforcement would be an issue.

CLOQUET, Minn.- A mask mandate for indoor public places was passed by the Cloquet City Council Monday evening, taking effect August 1st. Unlike Duluth, the vote was not unanimous — the council, it seems, as divided as they said the community is on the issue. The Council passed the ordinance 5-2, the only change being making it effective August 1st….

Superior School District Approves Three Reopening Scenarios; Asks Parents to Submit Preferences

SUPERIOR, Wis.- The Superior School District has approved their possible plan for how students will be taught this fall. The coming school year will either be all virtual, all in-person, or a hybrid of at-home and in-school learning. The district is still waiting to pick a final option. They say they hope to have a set plan in place by…

Superior School Board Approves Response Plan for Reopening this Fall

Plan allows families to choose all-virtual, or hybrid of virtual and in-person learning.

SUPERIOR, Wis.- In their first in-person meeting since March, the Superior School Board Monday approved their COVID-19 District Response Plan on reopening schools this fall. In the plan (found here), families can choose whether to continue having their children learn virtually at home, or attend in a hybrid setting with partial education at home and partial in the school building….

Live Music, Food Enjoyed While Social Distanced at Earth Rider Brewery

SUPERIOR, Wis.- Some people spent the warm Sunday outside listening to live music — socially distanced of course — at Earth Rider Brewery. At the outdoor space at Earth Rider’s Cedar Lounge, customers enjoyed a few drinks, some live music, and Thai-fusion cuisine from the “One Night in Bangkok” Food Truck. Staff at Earth Rider say they are happy their…

Some Cloquet Business Owners Ready for Mask Mandate Ahead of Council Vote Tuesday

While city officials' views on the ordinance are divided, these business owners say it's a good idea.

CLOQUET, Minn.- Coming up Tuesday two Northland cities, Cloquet and Superior, will vote on a mask mandate for indoor public places. In Cloquet, some business owners say it’s a good idea if it means continuing their operations as safely as possible. “I think it’s good for the community overall, just to keep the spread of the Coronavirus,” said Cindy Peterson,…

Pandemic Doesn’t Erase ‘Chalk.a.Lot’ Festival in Two Harbors

The festival continued this year, albeit downsized due to COVID-19.

TWO HARBORS, Minn.- Artist hard at work could be spotted throughout Two Harbors Saturday, and their canvas — the sidewalks. The 9th Annual “Chalk.a.Lot” Festival carried on. “Everybody’s so excited to be here and they’re happy to be creating art,” said Carrie Coan, President of the Two Harbors Area Arts and Events Board. “This is our 9th year and everybody…

Owner of Twin Ports Bars, Restaurants Weighs in On Proposed Superior Mask Mandate

After abiding by the new ordinance at his Duluth locations, Rick Lampton says he expects adjusting at Grizzly's and 7 West in Superior to go smoothly.

SUPERIOR, Wis.- In just three days the Superior City Council will vote on whether to implement an indoor public mask mandate similar to Duluth. Now more bar and restaurant owners are speaking out on that proposed ordinance. Rick Lampton, owner of many establishments in both Duluth and Superior, including Grizzly’s and 7 West Taphouse, has already adjusted his businesses to…

Superior Market Welcomes Craft Vendors

With the cancellation of various events, crafters haven't been able to sell their products.

DULUTH, Minn. – Junk and Disorderly in Superior is helping out area crafters by hosting an outdoor market. With the cancellation of various events, crafters haven’t been able to sell their products. The owner of Junk and Disorderly says, anyone is welcome to sign up for free to sell their items and it all goes towards supporting local businesses. “You’ll…

Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health Sending COVID Care Packages to Northland Tribal Communities

Researchers at the Great Lakes Hub in Duluth say the care packages are short term solutions, while they work to address lack of public health care in tribal communities.

DULUTH, Minn.- As the pandemic continues to rip through communities throughout the Northland, the Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health Great Lakes Hub in Duluth is providing aid to the indigenous communities effected by the virus. The Center has sent out about 100 care packages with food supplies, and about 100 what they call Holistic Wellness Boxes with items…

Head of Lakes Fair Still Happening with Extra Safety Precautions, Modified Activities

Along with hand sanitizing stations and staff monitoring people for social distancing, certain rides will not be there.

SUPERIOR, Wis.- Setup is underway for the only fair that seems to still be moving forward in the Northland — and perhaps the only event of the summer. The Head of the Lakes Fair on Tower Avenue is set to happen, open to the public next Tuesday at 4 p.m. Organizers say they are confident working with county health officials…

With Superior Mask Mandate on Horizon, Business Owners Prepare for its Passage

Some retail businesses like Annie's Attic already recommend masks, so making it a city-wide requirement will take some stress of enforcement, owner says.

SUPERIOR, Wis.- Across the bridge in Superior, businesses are preparing for a city wide mask mandate that could take effect July 27th, if the City Council approves a proposed ordinance at next week’s council meeting. All signs show it will be passed for indoor public places, as only Councilor Keith Kern, a bar owner himself, voted against moving forward with…

Duluth Becomes First City in Northland to Approve Mask Mandate for Indoor Public Places

Duluth City Council voted unanimously to require masks indoors in public, with penalties for businesses and individuals that don't comply.

DULUTH, Minn.- Duluth is now the first city in the Northland to require masks in all public indoor spaces to stop the spread of the Coronavirus, after City Council voted unanimously to pass the historic ordinance Monday night, effective immediately. Face coverings will now be required in such places as retail spaces, DTA buses, the Skywalk, and in apartment building…

Lester River Rendezvous Canceled For First Time in Over 20 Years

Annual event gathers about 10,000 people every year.

DULUTH, Minn.- For the first time in more than 20 years, the Lester River Rendezvous is canceled this September due to the coronavirus pandemic. According to organizers, the weekend event gathers about 10,000 people every year. One of their more popular events is the Voyageur Village, which re-enacts an 18th-19th century fur trade village. Coordinator Don Mendoza said while he’ll…

DECC Opens Up For Dance Competition

Ovation Dance Challenge is the DECC's first event since the pandemic started.

DULUTH, Minn.- On Saturday the DECC in Duluth held its first event since the pandemic started. The Ovation Dance Challenge took place in Symphony Hall. About 200 dancers participated between Friday and Saturday and were watched by no more than 250 people, as per state guidelines. Masks were required and the stage and other areas were routinely sanitized. Organizers say dancers…

Dance Competition to be First Event at DECC Since Start of Pandemic

While DECC is excited to open back up, the dance community is excited that they might be getting platforms to perform again.

DULUTH, Minn.- For the first time since March, the DECC in Duluth will play host to an event once again this weekend. The event is called the Ovation Dance Challenge, and capacity will be limited at the state guidelines of 250 people, with only family of the dancers allowed inside, and a livestream provided for anyone else who wants to…

Endion Station Inn Seeing Steady Business

Since it opened the inn has encountered both a pandemic, and now construction resuming on the Lakewalk.

DULUTH, Minn. – Earlier this year, the historic Endion Station in Canal Park transitioned into a new boutique hotel. Since it opened the inn has encountered both a pandemic, and now construction resuming on the Lakewalk. Despite these obstacles, Owner Rod Raymond says his business is doing fine and has some words of wisdom for anyone who has to drastically…

Duluth Bars Extra Cautious as Gov. Walz Threatens Statewide Bar Shutdown

Bar owners in Duluth say a second closure could prove disastrous.

DULUTH, Minn.- As COVID-19 cases grow nationwide, many states are already turning back to restrictions on business. Now states like Minnesota may be considering the same, as Governor Tim Walz warns that mass gatherings without masks in bars will cause numbers to rise faster. “The bars right now are not safe,” said the Governor at a press conference last week,…

Annual Car Show Rides Through Superior as ‘Car Cruise’

SUPERIOR, Wis.- While Superior’s fireworks were canceled due to COVID-19, some gearheads still made the most of the Fourth of July. Since the annual Dennis VanAlstine Car Show was canceled as well this year, the “Anything with a Motor Cruise” took its place to give motorists a chance to let their rides shine. The parade of hot rods started at…

Some Superior Businesses See Different Customer Traffic Due to Canceled Fireworks Show

Bars and restaurants and attractions seeing a bit more customers, but many staying home.

SUPERIOR, Wis.- The City of Superior abruptly canceled their 4th of July fireworks show the day before, causing some businesses to adapt to the change in customer flow. “We weren’t sure what to expect coming through,” Dustin Heckman, Executive Director of the Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center said. A year with fireworks would bring both Superiorites and others visiting…

Cancellation of 2020 Apple Fest a Big Test for Bayfield Businesses

It is arguably the cities largest event, and at times, can bring in over 60,000 people to a town with a popular of under 500.

BAYFIELD, Wisc. – This year, the fall season in Bayfield will be looking different. “Certainly overwhelming. Very large crowds come into town over the weekend. When the weather is nice, typically the streets will be packed body to body with people,” Howl Owner, Mary Thiel says. That won’t be happening with the cancellation of the 59th annual Apple Fest, and…

Liila Boutique in Lincoln Park Moves Store to Sidewalk

Store holds sidewalk sale to make up for not being able to open interior.

DULUTH, Minn.- Another local business in Lincoln Park is trying new ways to open back up while also following public health guidelines. Liila Boutique on West Superior Street has been bringing their store to the sidewalk the past few weekends. Since they’re located in the Duluth Folk School building which remains closed, they can’t open their doors to the public….

Essentia Health Changes Visitor Policy

DULUTH, Minn. – Essentia Health has lifted some of its visitor restrictions at their facilities. Effective immediately, one adult visitor is allowed per patient between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. Chaplains and Clergy will also be allowed to visit patients. Restrictions for patients who are positive for Covid-19 will remain the same. No visitors will be allowed for those patients…

Duluth Without Grandma’s Marathon for the First Time in 43 Years

Race officials say crews are hard at work making next year even better.

DULUTH, Minn.- For the first time in 43 years, Duluth and the North Shore were not packed with thousands of runners as Grandma’s Marathon was cancelled this year. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic the race was called off after over 18,000 runners had already registered. Runners across the country still participated in the virtual races, but race officials say it’s…

St. Luke’s Infectious Disease Doctor on Public Preparedness: “I Think There’s Room For Improvement”

St. Luke's Infectious Disease Physician Dr. Andrew Thompson Speaks on COVID-19 Preparedness in the Northland

DULUTH, Minn. – “I think there’s room for improvement, at least here in our local community,” said Dr. Andrew Thompson, Infectious Disease Specialist with St. Luke’s Hospital in Duluth. Dr. Thompson made this statement when asked about his personal view on how safe and cautious residents in the Northland have been during the COVID-19 pandemic. As Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan…