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Unvaccinated NBA players and team personnel must submit to weekly COVID-19 testing this season, the league told its clubs in a memo Tuesday.
There will be exceptions to the rule, the league said, such as when the unvaccinated person is considered to have been “recently recovered” from COVID-19.
However for all others, testing won’t be required except when “directed by their team physician or a league physician or government authority,” the league states. Facemasks also will no longer be required, though they will be recommended for use indoors in markets where coronavirus levels are classified by government officials as high.
According to ABC News, the policy for the coming season — agreed to by the National Basketball Players Association — has been recently developed and is consistent with what Commissioner Adam Silver said last month he would expect.
“It looks like we’ll be on our normal track in terms of when the season starts, in terms of our protocols around the game, particularly around the health and safety of our players,” Silver said at the league’s Board of Governors meeting in mid-July. “I have learned over the last 2 1/2 years not to make any predictions when it comes to COVID, but only to say we’ll be prepared for anything that comes our way.”
All players and team personnel will be required to get tested when showing symptoms, they will also be required to report those symptoms, as well as any positive or inconclusive results of tests not provided by the team or the league. Players and personnel are also mandated to report when someone in their household tests positive for COVID-19.
The NBA did not require players to get vaccinated last season, but did require players to follow local mandates. Last year’s NBA season was often plagued by those mandates, resulting in high profile players like Kyrie Irving missing half of the potentially games played. This year, the Association looks to have all players and personnel follow the same playbook well ahead of the upcoming 2023 season to thwart any and all unforeseen challenges to the two-year-old pandemic.
Information in this article was obtained via ABC News.