Cortland restaurant owner speaks out against mask mandate, refuses to enforce it

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This comes a day after the Trumbull County Combined Health District says their noncompliance will be reviewed by legal counsel

CORTLAND, Ohio (WYTV) – A Trumbull County diner is not enforcing a statewide mask mandate. This comes a day after the Trumbull County Combined Health District says their noncompliance will be reviewed by legal counsel.

“The masks are not helping,” says Shonna Bland, owner of Top Notch Diner in Cortland.

A sign on the door going into the restaurant reads they will not force any mask or facial coverings at the establishment.

“This is not a crime. I’m not hurting anyone. I’m not forcing anyone to come in here,” Bland said.

It’s a policy her customers seem to enjoy.

“I stand behind her 100%,” said Terry Wyant of Leavittsburgh. “What’s the sense of putting it on when you walk through the door? When you sit down, you’re gonna take it off anyhow, so what’s the big deal about a mask?”

“I’m really glad to see that she’s taking a stand against it,” said Randy Brashen of Canfield Twp.

“I felt, as an American citizen having rights, that if I didn’t want to wear a mask, I wasn’t gonna wear it. If I don’t wanna wear a bra to Walmart, I’m not gonna wear it,” Bland said.

But the Trumbull County Combined Health District says they’ve received more than 40 complaints about the diner.

“This situation where we’re at with them is not just because the public doesn’t wear a mask. Their employees don’t wear masks. There’s social distancing issues, so it’s not just about a sign on the door,” said Environmental Director Kris Wilster after they failed to come to a resolution during an administrative hearing. “Our attorney will talk to the prosecutor and see what the next step is.”

“I’m going to stick to my guns as long as I can, as long as they’re not threatening to, you know, take my business from me,” Bland said. “I will get an attorney. I will go that far, yeah, I will because I feel God gave me this big mouth for something, I might as well use it for good.”

You can watch the full interview with Bland above.

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Mel Robbins Main Area Middle

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