North Shore Health and Sawtooth Mountain Clinic have a unique partnership, officials say.
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Hospital director shares thoughts on local healthcare workers who traveled to Sturgis

There is concern in the Cook County community about staff from North Shore Health – including the director of nursing at the local healthcare facility – attending the recent motorcycle rally in Sturgis.

Hospital Administrator Kimber Wraalstad confirmed to WTIP this week that there were employees of the local healthcare facility who went to the 10-day motorcycle rally in South Dakota. However, Wraalstad pointed out, neither the CDC nor the Minnesota Department of Health have issued quarantine recommendations for travel. That being the case, according to a report on August 20 from the Associated Press, South Dakota health officials warned this week that a number of people who attended the motorcycle rally in Sturgis, including some who came from out of state, have come down with COVID-19.

“North Shore Health cannot stop an employee from doing something that is legal, nor can we stop someone from going to Minneapolis, Duluth or Sturgis,” Wraalstad said.

In more COVID-19 news from the local hospital in Grand Marais, point prevalence survey testing continued at North Shore Health this week, the second consecutive week for this unique strategy of testing everyone in a facility in one or two days regardless of symptoms. Point prevalence survey testing started last week at North Shore Health and more than 180 tests were done among staff members and residents of the Care Center. To date, all of the tests have come back negative, Wraalstad said.

These topics were discussed during an interview that aired live on WTIP August 21. Wraalsatad spoke with WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs on the Daybreak program. The audio below is their entire conversation.