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Bayfield County Health Officials explain the need for Public Health Order

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BAYFIELD CO., WI-- There are new COVID-19 restrictions in place in Bayfield County after an outbreak linked to a recent wedding.

County health officials say that this is vital to stopping the spread in its tracks.

The order places a ban on gatherings of 100 people or more and is in effect until December 4, 2020.

Sara Wartman, Director of Bayfield Co. Health, says this order is something that the county has had in the works for a while.

They felt it was the right time to put it into place after last weekend, where two weddings and after-parties in Washburn and Bayfield have been linked to at least five new cases of COVID-19.

Wartman says they have open investigations of an outbreak between the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Bayfield Co. Health Department and Ashland Co. Public Health.

With the holiday weekend on the horizon, Wartman hopes that an order like this will prevent further exposure in the area, especially as children are starting to head back to the classroom.

"At this point in time, we have to take a look at our priorities and determine which is more important at this point in time, large gatherings, or having children in schools," Wartman said.

Officials said the wedding in Washburn was at the Harbor View Event Center.

We spoke with staff there on Friday who said they were surprised by the outbreak. Saying the wedding in question had fewer than 50 people, was moved outside and followed strict precautions.

Local health departments are still conducting an investigation and recommend anyone in attendance quarantine for two weeks.

As a result of the outbreak, The Red Cliff band as also issued a shelter in place order with no current expiration.

Natalie Grant

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