Starting tonight, Flint residents will be under a mandatory curfew to help combat the ongoing increase of COVID-19 cases in Genesee County.

According to ABC12, the curfew will be in effect from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. for the next 30 days -- through the month of April. Stores, pharmacies and most other businesses will be closed by 9 p.m. when the curfew starts.

Of course, there are exceptions that were laid out back in March when Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's "Stay Home, Stay Safe" order was issued. If you are traveling to and from work and your job is considered "essential", you're fine.

If you violate the curfew, it will be considered a misdemeanor and you could end up paying a $500 fine and spend 90 days in jail.

Mayor Sheldon Neeley said: "Michigan's stay home order involves self-governance, but it's not working. Flint officials are receiving reports of people congregating in parking lots after dark, which violates the order."

People need to realize the importance of this curfew. It's not to punish residents, it's to help save lives. The current number of COVID-19 cases in Genesee County is 349, with 10 dead.

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