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Cumming mayor rescinds social distance order just hours after signing it

The mayor saying the decision came after realizing "our public doesn't want government mandating the recommendations of public health officials."

CUMMING, Ga. — Mayor Troy Brumbalow of Cumming wrote Wednesday around 3 a.m. that he would be rescinding the social distancing order that took effect at midnight.

The mayor writing that, "while the intent of the order was to protect the public from the spread of COVID-19, it is obvious that a large portion of our public doesn't want government mandating the recommendations of public health officials."

A portion of the social distancing order included the appointment of special policemen to help enforce the order. Under the city charter, the mayor can appoint special policemen during times of emergency.

Brumbalow went on to say, "I said in our press release that I would swear in up to 150 policemen. I was looking at a worst-case scenario caused by the pandemic as our police department has 18 officers. I can see that I didn't communicate our thoughts and intentions clearly enough. 

The mayor continued by apologizing to Cumming residents for the press release saying that while he did not write it, he was taking full responsibility for it.

"People reacted strongly on social media thinking we were becoming a police state. That was never the intent, added Trumbalow.

City of Cumming leaders announced the order requiring residents to stay six feet away from each other Tuesday afternoon. The order also stating that the Cumming Police Department would be enforcing social distancing, and that the city would appoint some residents as 'special policemen' to help with enforcement penalties.

The penalties included up to a $1,000 fine and/or up to 180 days in jail. 

Trumbalow addressed concerns over this portion of the order saying, "Many people don't speed for fear of the fine. We were hopeful that this would cause people to really think about social distancing. We couldn't fix the problem without an order that had an enforceable offense. While I think the intent of the order was for the health of our citizens, the delivery was bad. I own that and take full responsibility."

The mayor concluded the post with this, "there is no longer a social distancing order in the city. Please keep a safe distance, wash your hands and be mindful of everyone else."

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