Essentia Health in Duluth had great news for patients Monday with the announcement that they have added drive-thru convenience to their Essentia Health Third Street Pharmacy.

The pharmacy is located at the Duluth Clinic Third Street Building, at 400 E 3rd Street. Patients will be be able to access the drive-thru inside the Green Parking Ramp, with signs directing them where to go. The drive-thru utilizes a tube system, very similar to what you'd experience outside of a bank.

The drive-thru service is now open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

According to Essentia Health, this is their largest and busiest retail pharmacy, which serves 4,000 patients per month.

“Our new drive-thru offers another socially distanced option for prescription dispensing for our patients,” said Amy Marchus, Essentia’s ambulatory pharmacy operations senior manager. “Our Third Street Pharmacy currently offers prescription pick-up, curbside delivery and meds-to-beds hospital discharge delivery services. Now, we’ll have another added convenience.”

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Having another socially distanced option is both safe and convenient. While more and more Northland residents are getting vaccinated against COVID-19, Minnesota has seen a surge in positive cases and hospitalizations this spring.

According to Startribune.com, hospitalizations for COVID-19 increased to a total of 651 as of Sunday, April 11 across in Minnesota, with an uptick in hospitalizations in rural areas. That means hospitalizations have doubled in Minnesota over the past two weeks.

They also note that as of April 12, 47% of Minnesota's eligible population of people 16 and older has received COVID-19 vaccine which is encouraging, but more vaccines need to be distributed to slow down the recent surge in positive cases.

LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.

LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.

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