Sumter County issues a curfew to help stop the spread of the coronavirus

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A curfew is in effect for Sumter County residents. It went into effect Sunday, officials say it was necessary to get residents to take the coronavirus seriously.

After learning that there were two positive cases for coronavirus in Sumter County, officials say they knew they had to take control over their county before the virus did. Nigel Poole with Sumter County’s emergency management says the first way to do that is to limit the amount of social gatherings available.

“We are still seeing a lot of our community members not taking this seriously. We’re seeing a lot of people that are not practicing social distancing. The numbers were seeing from around the world are frightening,” Poole said.

Late Saturday night, Sumter county officials issued a county wide curfew. The curfew is from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. Americus Police Chief Mark Scott says those who violate this curfew will be punished.

“This is an actual order. So, if you’re out after nine, between nine and six in the morning and you don’t fit one of the criteria for public safety or medical emergencies than you can be fined,” Chief Scott said.

The resolution also says public or private gatherings of 10 or more people is prohibited. Several businesses downtown have changed their daily operations to accommodate this, but Poole says some places will have to close.

“We already have playgrounds shut down, but we’re also going to start shutting down parks that includes basketball parks, walking trails of the sort. We’re also most importantly not allowing convenient stores to stay open past the curfew,” Poole said.

Cooper says this curfew does not apply to those who are traveling to and from work.

Sumter County Resolution concerning COVID-19:

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