VAN WERT, Ohio (WFFT) —The Van Wert County Sheriff’s Office announced Thursday afternoon that it will not enforce the statewide mask mandate in place for Ohio.
Governor Mike DeWine issued a mandatory mask order that will begin at 6 p.m.
Van Wert County Sheriff Thomas Riggenbach says the mask mandate is considered to be a health-related order that falls under the jurisdiction of the local health department.
Riggenbach says his office will not be enforcing this order.
If someone is violating the health order, they are asked to contact the Van Wert County Health Department to file mask compliance complaints.
Riggenbach said a violation of the order is not an emergency and citizens should not call 911 or the dispatch center for these complaints.
The Sheriff’s Office is busy with criminal investigations and does not have time to answer calls of someone not wearing a mask.
People with health conditions that make it inadvisable to wear a mask or children under 10 are exempted from the order.
"You should assume that people not wearing a mask may have a health condition that prevents them from wearing one," Riggenbach said. "We know there are strong feelings on both sides of this issue. The Sheriff’s Office asks that people be kind and be courteous to one another, as we all go through this together."