Georgia Gov. Kemp clears path for return of pro and amateur sports activities

For those ready for amateur sports to return in Bartow County, Thursday’s announcements from Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp continued a forward move for reopening the state. His announcements made way to allow more public activity including the resumption of amateur and professional sports teams beginning June 1. Kemp is extending the public health emergency in Georgia through July 12, but will allow an increase in the number of people at public gatherings. The moves also include the reopening of bars and restaurants, limited sporting operations, and some summer classes for schools. The governor said he made the decisions based on “favorable data,” but most of the moves include strict guidelines. Beginning June 1, pro sports teams will return to activities following guidelines set forth by their respective sports leagues. Amateur sports must follow guidelines for non-critical infrastructure organizations already set forth in previous orders.

Kemp’s announcements also included his plea and advice to Georgians to heed the advice of public health experts, continue hand washing, wearing masks where appropriate, and continued protection of the elderly and medically fragile. “Please continue to follow the public health advice as you engage in these activities,” Kemp said. The governor also noted that state officials will enforce the guidelines if people do not comply.

"We realize a lot of these things are not easy, sometimes people may not understand them for the most part in the high 90 percent of people they have been trying to comply with guidelines, and we've been giving them guidance," Kemp continued. "For the other people, we've been issuing verbal warnings, but if we have large crowds that are out of control, we will take much stronger action than that." "We're not going to put up with people putting Georgians' health in jeopardy," Kemp added.

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Cartersville, Georgia