I-Team: Who’s cracking down on mask complaints in Northeast Ohio? Who’s not?

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CLEVELAND (WJW) — Pictures released to the FOX 8 I-Team take you inside a local bar just cited for not following state health orders to slow the spread of COVID-19.

But, we’ve found Cuyahoga County has not taken enforcement action yet in response to thousands of complaints and comments pouring in to a hotline set up to collect information on  people not wearing masks.

The I-Team spent Monday investigating how local agencies are cracking down and or not cracking down on complaints about masks and social distancing.

Over the weekend, state agents with the Ohio Investigative Unit took action against several bars in Ohio including three nightspots in Cleveland. Pictures from Club Paradis show crowds of people together without wearing masks.

The state agents cited that club two nights in a row. No one answered the door when we stopped by on Monday.

A hotline set up by Cuyahoga County has generated more than 2,500 calls and emails about mask rules. But the County Health Department has not yet sent investigators out following up on those calls.

So far, Cuyahoga County officials have been sending out letters. One going to businesses tells those managers  someone has complained about them. Workers or shoppers have been seen not wearing masks. Another letter going to local leaders outlines the entire list of mask complaints made in their towns.

The Cuyahoga County Health Department says it is still finalizing how it will send investigators to follow up on the hotline complaints to take enforcement actions.

In Ashland County, the I-Team revealed, health officials shut down the Cattlemans restaurant. The owner says the county shut her down over not following rules for masks. But she is fighting that.

Meantime, Cleveland City Hall has set up two lines to take mask complaints including one for police. And we revealed earlier, police are even getting calls from workers at stores encountering customers refusing to wear masks and turning aggressive.

All of this comes months after police first started filing charges for violating the Governor’s initial stay-at-home orders due to COVID-19. A spot check shows those first cases are still pending in court.

When the state agents find violations at bars and restaurants, they are pursuing action against the liquor licenses of those establishments. Those hearings are just now getting scheduled for the next few weeks ahead.

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