Due to an increase in COVID-19 cases, the National Basketball Association (NBA) will mandate its teams to organize COVID booster shot events on New Year’s Eve.
Shams Charania, a reporter who covers NBA related news for the Athletic, tweeted about this new policy development.
Earlier in December, the NBA agreed to increase testing and mask-wearing for all players and staff for two weeks. This policy started on December 26.
According to a report by Meg Turner of Outkick, the current protocols stipulate that if a vaccinated player tests positive for the virus, he must be subject to quarantine for 10 days or produce two negative tests at least 24 hours apart.
The NBA and the National Basketball Players’ Association followed in the NFL’s footsteps and came to an agreement about lessening the quarantine period for players who tested positive for COVID-19.
The quarantine period was reduced from 10 to 6 days on December 23.
While the NBA boasts a 97% vaccination rate and 65% of its players receiving a booster shot, the league is still being hit with a wave of COVID-19 outbreaks.
According to an NBC Sports report, 172 players entered NBA health and safety protocols in the past two weeks.
The increase in positive tests has caused several games to be postponed and has disrupted schedule-making in the 2021-2022 season.
Some of the postponements have included:
- Dec. 14: Pistons vs. Bulls postponed
- Dec. 14: Bulls vs. Raptors postponed
- Dec. 19: Nuggets vs. Nets postponed
- Dec. 19: Cavs vs. Hawks postponed
- Dec. 19: Pelicans vs. 76ers postponed
- Dec. 20: Magic vs. Raptors postponed
- Dec. 21: Wizards vs. Nets postponed
- Dec. 22: Raptors vs. Bulls postponed
- Dec. 23: Nets vs. Blazers postponed
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has remained firm regarding the increase in positive coronavirus tests and how it will not significantly impact the 2021-2022 NBA season.
“This virus will not be eradicated,” Silver recently said. “We’re going to have to learn to live with it.”