The Ashland County Health & Human Services shared a new release on their Facebook page that informs the public that they are temporarily closing bars and taverns in Ashland, Wisconsin.

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The order is from the Public Health Officer of Ashland County, and it closes bars in the City of Ashland and immediate surrounding areas from September 25, 2020 at 12:01 AM through October 11, 2020 at 11:59 PM.

According to the department, over the past week there have been 32 new positive cases of COVID-19, and the majority of the cases are directly related to "spontaneous gatherings in bars." 7 bars have been identified as sources of exposure.

They also add that Ashland County has a large portion of their population who are medically considered vulnerable for sever illness from COVID-19. That includes older adults, and children or adults with chronic diseases. The Ashland County Health & Human Services acknowledges that with Ashland County being a rural area, they have a limited healthcare infrastructure and could be easily strained. There also is the possibility that many people have not had access to testing and the number of positive cases could be underestimated.

All bars and taverns in the city of limits of Ashland will be ordered to close, and any bar or tavern within 2.5 miles of the city will also be ordered to close.

There are some interesting exemptions to this:

  • bars that include restaurants are allowed to continue with carry out, delivery, and curbside pick up.
  • If restaurants that contain bars close their bar seating, they may remain open.
  • Restaurants that do not contain bars may still offer dine in, carry out, and delivery services if they follow COVID-19 safety guidelines from the Wisconsin Department of Health and the CDC.

Individuals who violate this order are subject to penalties of "not less than $200 and not more than $500."