Essentia Health patients will get some added convenience soon. A new skywalk linking a city parking ramp to the Essentia Health-Duluth Clinic is set to open on Monday, February 1.

According to Essentia Health, this is a temporary skywalk designed to make it easier for patients and Essentia Health staff to access the Duluth Clinic’s First Street Building from the city’s Medical District ramp.  There had been an earlier skywalk link that was demolished in 2019 to accommodate construction of a new St. Mary’s Medical Center and clinic space.

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This temporary skywalk will provide safe passage through the Vision Northland construction site. In conjunction with this opening, the temporary covered crosswalk that ran along First Street and the sidewalk will be closed to accommodate construction.

“Essentia Health thanks our general contractor, McGough Construction, and the City of Duluth for helping make it easier for our patients and staff to navigate our downtown medical campus during construction,” says Dr. Robert Erickson, physician leader for Vision Northland. “We especially appreciate returning easy skywalk access to some of our most vulnerable patients who rely on us for care and treatments in our First Street clinic.”

Essentia Health officials say the new skywalk will be open only to staff and patients with appointments who will go through a COVID-19 screening station in the main lobby of the clinic. This station also will screen staff and patients who enter through the clinic’s main entrance on First Street. The screening station will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Patients with appointments in the First Street clinic are advised to park in the city’s Medical District ramp. Patients also can park in Essentia Health’s Green Ramp, adjacent to the Duluth Clinic’s Third Street Building, or their Red Ramp, adjacent to St. Mary’s Medical Center.

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