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Ashland and Bayfield counties issue emergency mask advisory

Ashland and Bayfield counties are issuing an emergency advisory telling people to wear face masks. Ashland and Bayfield counties are issuing an emergency advisory telling people to wear face masks. |  Photo: WDIO-TV file

Updated: July 13, 2020 04:58 PM

Ashland and Bayfield counties are issuing an emergency mask advisory starting at 8 a.m. on Friday, July 17.

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It encourages people 5 and older to wear masks when inside a building with other people who are not part of one's living unit. It applies to all of Ashland and Bayfield counties. 

"We do not take this advisory lightly," Bayfield Health Officer Sara Wartman said. "It is on every person in our communities to do better." 

Wartman said it is not an order yet but "a strong advisory." She said they would look at public health orders if they find many people not complying and metrics are on an upward trajectory. 

The advisory says people should cover their mouths and noses when in public, including in businesses and on public transportation. It also says that everyone should wear a mask while inside another family's home. 

"Given the number of infections in our counties and surrounding area, as well as the multitude of visitors coming to our area, we need to all be wearing face coverings every time we leave the house," Ashland County Health Officer Elizabeth Szot said. 

They say they hope people will implement it immediately, but the Friday start date ensures businesses have time to put up signage and people have time to get a mask if they don't have one. 

Copyright 2020 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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