CUYAHOGA COUNTY (WJW) — The FOX 8 I-Team is now investigating a local hotline flooded with calls from you about people not wearing masks to help slow the spread of COVID-19. We’ve found what kinds of complaints are coming in along with what’s being done about them.
The I-Team obtained copies of a few of the first complaints called in to that hotline, and we reviewed the first 500 tips, complaints and comments.
We found nearly two thirds of the calls and emails are pointing out customers with no masks at local stores and restaurants. The other third are coming in about workers at stores and restaurants and other businesses.
On one call, a woman says: “My child is enrolled in a day care, and none of the workers are wearing masks.”
On another, a caller says: “Nobody is doing what they’re supposed to be doing.”
Cuyahoga County leaders set up the hotline days ago to take calls and emails with tips and concerns about people not wearing a mask.
Someone caught in public without a mask could get charged with a crime and end up with a little jail time and a fine up to $750.
The County, though, says the goal is not to bust people.
The Cuyahoga County Health Department says it will follow up on complaints about workers in any kind of business. Complaints about citizens, however, get referred to local leaders in those towns.
The Health Department says, first, it will make a phone call to the target of a complaint and go over rules for masks.
We went to one convenience store on Cleveland’s east side where someone had noted seeing workers and customers without masks.
A man behind the counter said he had no idea anyone had complained about that business until we showed up.
“I keep telling the customer to wear the masks,” he told us. “I mean, I tell everybody you have to wear them.”
The I-Team has revealed before, many of you are also calling 911 to report people with no mask. Now, we’ve found Cleveland Police have taken at least 19 calls to 911 on this. In many cases, officers checked out the complaint and spoke to people. Other cases had different outcomes. For instance, a citizen canceled the call, or police didn’t find anyone.
We also found that if you call the hotline, you should not expect someone to check out your call right away. So many complaints are coming in, agencies are struggling to keep up with the mask madness.
While Cuyahoga County has been getting slammed with mask calls, Summit County has seen a similar spike.
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