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Ashland health officials urge community members to help prevent the spread of COVID-19

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ASHLAND, WI-- A hockey tournament in Northwest Wisconsin has been tied to more than a dozen COVID-19 cases in the tri-state area.

As of Friday, the number of Bayfield County residents with confirmed cases of the virus remains at 5, with just one case connected to the tournament.

For a rural area that has not seen a new case of COVID-19 since late March, the potential of a further spike has local officials urging community members to take the steps to stop the spread in its tracks.

Dr. Jill Shenk, President of Medical Staff at the Memorial Medical Center in Ashland, said the staff feels prepared if a larger spike were to happen.

"We put processes in early March to be ready for whenever a surge happened, and it just so happened to occur this week," Dr. Shenk said.

Dr. Shenk said that Ashland health officials are now urging community members to wear a mask and limit large gatherings to help prevent a surge from occurring.

"It's a sign about how much we care about other people by when we wear our masks and we know that that is important for everyone to do consistently," Dr. Shenk said.

There was a pop up testing site in Bayfield County Friday that ran out tests in just a few hours due to the high demand.

Officials say that additional testing events are being scheduled in the near future in Ashland, Bayfield, and Iron counties.

Natalie Grant

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