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Geauga County Sheriff: Don’t call us for COVID-19 curfew, mask violators

'There is no law to enforce, so please do not call us in regards to this.'

GEAUGA COUNTY, Ohio — After Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine recently announced a revised mask order and statewide curfew to slow the surge of COVID-19, Geauga County Sheriff Scott Hildenbrand is gaining some attention for his response to the situation.

“I have received several calls about the Governor’s suggestion that everyone wear a mask,” Sheriff Hildenbrand posted on Facebook Wednesday. “It is up to the business owners to enforce this as they do with the requirements to wear a shirt and shoes. There is no law to enforce, so please do not call us in regards to this.”

He said the health department is where these types of calls should be directed.

“Again we do not have the authority, the time or the willingness to even attempt to enforce this,” his Facebook post continued. “Your Deputies will continue to enforce laws and investigate crimes in the County to keep people safe.”

RELATED: How does Ohio's COVID-19 curfew work? What are the exceptions? Your questions answered

The sheriff’s post was shared more than 630 times within 21 hours. While some commenters offered praise, some disagreed with the sheriff's statement.

“All this post does is embolden the sheep of Geauga County to defy health orders and continue the spread of COVID-19,” one person wrote.

Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones had a similar reaction to the statewide curfew earlier this week.

"I'm not gonna be the mask police," he told Fox19 in an interview.

Ohio’s curfew, which goes into effect Thursday night, advises all Ohioans to return home between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. for the next 21 days. There are some exceptions, however, including leaving home for work, essential needs and emergencies.

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