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BEREA, Ohio (WJW) — The new mask mandate for Cuyahoga County is officially in effect, and two local police departments have a message about enforcement.

In a post on Facebook Wednesday night, Berea residents were asked not to overwhelm the dispatch line with complaints about other people not wearing masks.

“Previous orders have been enforced by the Cuyahoga County Board of Health. There was mention at yesterday’s news conference that local law enforcement would enforce this order. Until we receive clarification and direct instruction on enforcement of this order, we can not respond to calls of this nature,” the department explained.

They also issued a reminder about businesses having the right to deny service to those who choose not to wear a mask.

“If you refuse, the business can ask you to leave. If you refuse to leave, the police will enforce trespassing violations. This is obviously not something that we want to do, so we are asking for everyone’s continued patience and cooperation.”

Those who don’t wear a mask could face a misdemeanor charge. However, Governor DeWine said that’s not their main objective.

“We’re not looking to see a lot of people arrested, that’s not the idea at all. The idea is that this is the norm. This is what is needed for Ohioans to stay safe,” DeWine said.

The other counties included in the mandate are Butler, Trumbull, Huron, Franklin, Hamilton and Montgomery.

Bedford Heights Police make a similar statement.

“There is still some confusion as to who will enforce this order. All of these Health orders, issued since Covid started, have been enforced by the County Board of Health. During yesterday’s news conference they stated that local law enforcement will handle enforcement of this order. That is not the case. Unless we receive clarification and direct instruction on enforcing this order we will not respond. Please do not overwhelm our emergency lines with something that we will not respond to.”

They continued, “We will enforce trespassing at businesses if you refuse to comply with their wishes. Please don’t put us in the middle of that. If you choose not to wear one, or cannot, do not patronize a business that requires them.”

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