For NBA players, the scenario this season is simple: get vaccinated or get tested, and often.
The league told its teams on Tuesday it was moving forward with a plan that those who are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus will not need to undergo regular testing. Those who are not vaccinated, however, will undergo rigorous testing – one test on training or travel days, and at least one test on match days.
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The teams received the parameters of the plan earlier this month and the league, in a memo obtained by the Associated Press on Tuesday, revealed more details to its clubs about how the tests work. Many of the tests donated this season will be administered by Cue Health, which provides rapid molecular tests and processes them via mobile technology in around 20 minutes.
The tests that will allow an unvaccinated player to participate in a game will always be of the PCR type, the league said.
There will be scenarios where vaccinated players will have to test, for example when they show potential symptoms of COVID-19. It also remains possible that vaccinated players will have to undergo weekly testing during training camp, although discussions on this issue continue.
The National Basketball Players Association has not asked players to be vaccinated, despite the NBA’s hope that it does. Everyone else who will be near the players during games this season – coaches, team staff, referees, field staff and others – will be vaccinated.
The NBA said about 85% of the league’s players were vaccinated at the end of last season. The teams begin training camps on September 28.
Other arrangements for unvaccinated players will include the wearing of masks at team facilities and during travel. Teams have been told they will need to arrange seating in almost any situation – travel, meals, meetings, even locker room setup – to ensure players who are not fully immunized are not seated directly next to them. ‘another player.
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Exceptions will be considered for people unable to get vaccinated for religious or medical reasons, the NBA said.
In the United States, deaths and cases of COVID-19 have climbed to levels not seen since last winter. The United States currently averages over 1,800 deaths and 170,000 new cases per day, the highest levels since early March and late January, respectively.
President Joe Biden last week ordered all employers over 100 workers to require weekly vaccinations or tests.