The Oklahoman

NBA: Vaccinated players won’t need regular tests

- Tim Reynolds

Fully vaccinated NBA players and coaches are not expected to be subject to regular coronaviru­s testing this season, the league told its teams Thursday.

Exceptions to that policy will include situations such as a player or coach showing symptoms generally associated with the coronaviru­s or being exposed to an unvaccinat­ed player who tests positive for COVID-19.

Those who are not fully vaccinated will need to be tested on all days involving practice or travel and likely will be tested twice on game days. They’ll also have to wear masks at team facilities and during travel.

And everyone, regardless of vaccinatio­n status, will be expected to submit to an antibody test before the season “to better identify individual­s with a limited or waning immune response to vaccinatio­n,” the league said.

It is still unclear if players will need to be tested on off days, the league said.

Players, vaccinated or not, who return a positive or inconclusi­ve test result again will be required to isolate immediatel­y. It would likely be for 10 days if those test results are eventually confirmed as positive.

Teams will likely have to arrange seating in almost all situations to ensure that players who are not fully vaccinated are not seated directly next to another player.

Earlier this week, the NBA told teams that in response to local regulation­s in New York and San Francisco teams, they would be required to be vaccinated unless exemptions for medical or religious reasons apply. The league also told teams that visiting teams would be exempt from those requiremen­ts in both cities but that the rules would apply to home teams, meaning the New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets and Golden State Warriors.

The league has already told teams that anyone working within 15 feet of players, coaches and referees this season must be fully vaccinated.

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