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SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — Officials in Georgia have decided the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon can proceed as planned next month as long as runners show they're vaccinated against the coronavirus or recently tested negative.

Savannah Mayor Van Johnson announced that health advisers concluded infection rates in the area have declined enough to relax restrictions on large outdoor gatherings.

More than 15,000 runners are expected for the marathon the weekend of Nov. 6. The event has become a staple road race in Savannah over the past decade, but was canceled last year because of the pandemic.

Face coverings will be required during indoor events, Johnson said, and runners who aren't vaccinated will have to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within the previous three days.

While coronavirus infections have dropped steeply across Georgia since a late-summer surge of cases peaked in late August, barely half of people in Savannah and surrounding Chatham County have been vaccinated.

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