Ohio County Implements Hotline to Report People Not Wearing Masks

A man walks along a sidewalk on Main Street where signs encourage people to wear masks and maintain social distancing in Ogunquit, Maine, on May 27, 2020. Gregory Rec/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images Maine residents are required to w
Gregory Rec/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

Cuyahoga County — which houses Cleveland, Ohio — has created a hotline so that people can tattle on their neighbors for not wearing masks. Ironically, the county executive claims that they “want people to [wear masks] voluntarily.”

Cuyahoga County has taken Ohio governor Mike DeWine’s mask order to the next level by establishing a hotline that allows people to report others for not wearing what is now considered proper attire in the new era of the Chinese coronavirus, according to a report by Cleveland.com.

The report added that the governor’s mask order will largely rely upon complaints filed by the public, rather than proactive policing.

“This is not intended to be going out and finding people not wearing masks,” insisted Cuyahoga County Executive Armond Budish in an announcement on Friday. “We want people to wear their masks — we want people to do it voluntarily.”

“There’s not enough people in law enforcement throughout the county to track down people, chase them around and figure out who we can go after for not wearing a mask,” added Budish.

After a complaint is filed, county workers will then contact the person or business to inform them that they have been reported. Complaints will also be forwarded to the Board of Health, as well as the relevant city or village.

The Sheriff’s Department could reportedly investigate or potentially file charges if the violator of the mask order is the subject of repeated complaints.

Health Commissioner Terry Allan said that if the Board of Health determines certain places are continuously ignoring the mask order, it may reach out to local authorities to address the matter.

Violating the governor’s order is a second-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $750 fine, according to Budish.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, on Parler at @alana, and on Instagram.

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