Kemp eases Georgia coronavirus rules to allow sports, conventions

Governor Brian Kemp makes a statement and answers questions from the media following a tour of Fieldale Farms while visiting Gainesville, Friday, May 15, 2020. (Alyssa Pointer/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

ATLANTA (AP) - Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp is lifting more health-related restrictions that stemmed from COVID-19, allowing spectator sports and live performance venues to reopen and conventions to resume on July 1, subject to some restrictions.

The Republican Kemp signed the 40-page-order Thursday, just before an earlier and more restrictive order was to expire. The new order, allowed under the health care emergency authority granted Kemp by lawmakers, runs through the end of June.

The move comes amid an uptick in reported coronavirus infections and deaths in Georgia. The state has recorded more than 700 daily infections, on average, for most of June. It's the longest period that infections have run that high since early May.

Georgia has recorded nearly 55,000 cases through Thursday, with at least 2,375 deaths. Fatalities have averaged 33 a day over the last week, one of the highest such figures since the beginning of May.