ELLSWORTH -- The Pierce County Board voted to approve ordinance No. 20-01, which alters the authority of the local public health officer. Now those who do not follow public health directions may face a civil penalty, not a criminal penalty as had previously been the policy.

This decision comes after weeks of residents voicing their opinions on the matter and the county holding public meetings to discuss the proposed ordinance.

READ MORE: River Falls encourages, but doesn't mandate, face coverings

It was originally believed by many residents and some board members that this ordinance would give the public health director the ability to write citizens a ticket. However, the office had that power already.

Thirteen County Board members voted in favor of the ordinance and three voted against. Those who were opposed to the ordinance are Jim Ashbach, Dean Bergsent and Mel Pittman.

Newsletter signup for email alerts

Read the resolution below from the July 28, 2020, agenda packet: