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Hospital pauses birthing services

Barring an emergency, there will be no New Year's baby at Cloquet's Community Memorial Hospital this year. The three delivery suites - with private baths and whirlpools, forest views and aromatherapy patches - sit empty.

"We've got a pause on it right now," said Rick Breuer, CEO of the independent nonprofit hospital.

It is not a permanent change at this point, but it was necessary due to low staffing levels, Breuer said of the decision made last summer.

"As much as I hate to blame anything on the pandemic anymore, it's a direct result," he said. "As we lost too many nurses, even more than docs...