The Minnesota Department of Health Thursday announced that St. Louis County was up to 33 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and the first confirmed death was reported in the county.  Duluth hospitals have provided an update on how they're preparing.

According to our media partners at WDIO-TV, a key action involves providing support to St. Ann's, an assisted living facility in Duluth:

"We are helping St. Ann's, which is in a daunting fight against COVID. We are supplying critical resources, including staff and PPE, in hopes of stabilizing the situation," shared Dr. Jon Pryor, president of Essentia Health's East Market.

There has also been an uptick in testing at remote sites in the Northland, with 116 tests being administered at those locations, including 52 alone in Duluth.

While in-house testing isn't yet available, Duluth hospitals expect that to be a reality in the near future but there will be limitations on the number tests available.

Both hospitals in Duluth have stated they need more ventilators and are working now to secure more for the expected increase in patients requiring them.

Everyone agrees on one thing:  Stay home if at all possible and be diligent with social distancing if you do leave the house.

With Easter Sunday approaching, there could be the temptation to gather with family.  You absolutely need to avoid all gatherings, period.  With Zoom, Facetime and countless other options, there are other ways to remain connected with everyone you love.

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