Lorain County Sheriff’s Office: Don’t overwhelm dispatch with mask-related calls

Coronavirus

ELYRIA, Ohio (WJW)– As Lorain County becomes the latest county in Ohio to fall under the state’s mask mandate, the sheriff’s office is asking for people’s patience and cooperation.

On Thursday, Lorain County moved from Level 2 to Level 3 on the Ohio’s Public Health Advisory Alert System, which assesses risk for coronavirus. That elevated level triggers an order requiring people to wear face coverings in public places. It goes into effect Friday at 6 p.m.

The Lorain County Sheriff’s Office, like other local authorities, said it needs clarification and direction for enforcement of the mandate.

“Please do not overwhelm your Law Enforcement jurisdictions dispatch center with calls related to this order until we have that clarification,” the sheriff’s office said in a Facebook post on Thursday.

“Businesses can require persons to wear masks. If you refuse to, the business can ask you to leave. If you refuse to leave, the local Law Enforcement in your jurisdiction can enforce trespassing violations. We are asking for everyone’s continued patience and cooperation.”

Under the mandate, masks are required:

  • In any indoor location that is not a residence
  • Outdoors when unable to maintain 6 feet of distance from individuals who are not members of the same household
  • Waiting for, riding, driving or operating public transportation. Includes taxi, private car service or ride sharing. Does not apply to private or rental vehicles where members of a family are sharing the vehicle

Counties in Level 3 meet four or five of the state’s seven indicators for COVID-19 risk. Those indicators are new cases per capita, sustained increase in new cases, proportion of cases that are not in congregate settings, sustained increase in COVID-19-related emergency room visits, sustained increase in COVID-19-related outpatient visits including telehealth, sustained increase in COVID-19 hospital admissions and intensive care unit occupancy.

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