When the Los Angeles Lakers start their season on Oct. 19, every player will be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, according to Lakers General Manager Rob Pelinka.
“We’ve worked really hard with our UCLA Health partners, and our team doctors, and players, agents and family members,” Pelinka said at a press conference Thursday. “We will be, on opening night when we play the Golden State Warriors, all of the players that are currently signed on our roster that night will be deemed fully vaccinated. We’re grateful that we won’t have interruptions caused by unvaccinated status of a player or staff member.”
While the National Basketball Association has not finalized its player health protocols for the upcoming season, the league did announce that all referees and any personnel working in close proximity to players will be required to be vaccinated.
“The NBA announced today that it has reached an agreement with the National Basketball Referees Association requiring vaccinations for all referees working NBA games during the 2021-22 season,” the NBA said in an August 28 press release. “The agreement specifies that all referees must be fully vaccinated unless they have a religious or medical exemption. The referees have also agreed to take any recommended boosters. Any referee who does not get vaccinated and is not exempt will be ineligible to work games.”
In accordance with the Los Angeles Health Officer Order, fans attending Laker games will be required to show proof of full vaccination, or a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of the game. The order applies to all indoor “mega events” of 1,000 or more people.
According to NBA officials, around 90% of the league’s players are fully vaccinated.