Home NBA NBA COVID-19 testing protocols set; players not required to be vaccinated

NBA COVID-19 testing protocols set; players not required to be vaccinated

Image via Getty/Sam Wasson

The NBA has informed teams of coronavirus testing protocols for vaccinated and unvaccinated players for the 2021-22 season, according to Shams Charania.

Per Charania:

  • Fully-vaccinated: No regular testing
  • Non-fully-vaccinated: One negative test on Practice/Travel day; Two negative tests on Game Day

Regular testing will continue for non-fully vaccinated team personnel.

The NBA won’t have a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for players, according to Baxter Holmes and Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

Referees and most NBA staff members are however required to be fully vaccinated for the start of the season.

Despite there not being a vaccine requirement for players, approximately 85 percent of players are vaccinated, a league spokesman recently said, and, in a preliminary memo obtained by ESPN in early September.

Along with having one negative test on a practice/travel day and two negative tests on game day, there will be other protocols for unvaccinated players that include the following:

  • Having lockers far from vaccinated teammates
  • Having to eat, fly and ride buses in different sections than vaccinated teammates (at least six feet apart)
  • If deemed close contact to someone who tests positive, will have to enter a mandatory seven-day quarantine period

These protocols are not final and are still subject to change in talks with the NBPA.

Local laws in both New York and San Francisco regarding vaccine requirements for indoor gatherings will be enforced for members of the New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets and Golden State Warriors and this includes players, unless a player has an approved medical or religious exemption.

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