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Ashland City Council members voted unanimously Tuesday to ask the county health department issue a public health order requiring the use of facemasks in all county locations open to the public.

The request also asks the health department to restrict large gatherings and to issue other public health orders regarding the safe operations of business during the surge in COVID-19 infections.

The council also was unanimous in establishing rules to enforce orders issued by health officers.

The votes came as Ashland County's number of confirmed coronavirus cases has soared from two a few weeks ago to 15 as of Tuesday. Bayfield County has recorded 19 confirmed cases. 

A third virus-related ordinance given preliminary approval was identical to a mandatory mask ordinance passed by the city of Bayfield, despite warnings by City Attorney Tyler Wickman that the ordinance may not stand up to judicial review.

Council members agreed to hold a special meeting Aug. 4 to give final approval to the measures.

This story will be updated with additional information and details on the measures.

(Copyright © 2020 APG Media)

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