On Tuesday, August 3, the Duluth Fire Department made an announcement that continues a disturbing trend.

Because of the increasing Delta variant threat and an increase in COVID positive cases in St. Louis County, the Duluth Fire Department announced that, effective immediately, they have closed all Duluth Fire Stations to the public.

This is an unfortunate turn of events as they had just opened back up to the public on August 1 after being closed for fifteen months for precautionary reasons related to the pandemic that we'd hoped to have in our rear view mirror by now.

Chief Shawn Krizaj sent a memo to his team Tuesday afternoon to alert them of the change, stating it was news he took no joy in sharing:

“The overwhelming majority of our Department has chosen to get vaccinated to slow and stop the spread of COVID-19. We know that with the Delta Variant, vaccinated people can still catch and spread COVID, so it was in the best interest of our staff, their families, and the public that we take this step."

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Krizaj noted that community service programs are a big and valuable part of what the department does, so this is especially difficult. While there was no timeline announced for the closure, one would certainly hope it wouldn't last another fifteen months. Fingers are crossed that they could reopen in time for Fire Prevention Week in October as they do have plans involving the public set for that special event.

As for now, they did have four Car Seat Safety Clinics remaining on the schedule and those will continue as scheduled at this time. If you'd like to attend, you must make an appointment in advance and all attendees must wear a mask during their appointment.

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