The NBA and National Basketball Players Association have agreed to changes to the health and safety protocols that offer expanded benefits for those who have been fully vaccinated, according to a memo sent to teams Wednesday night that was reviewed by ESPN.
Specifically, the changes to the protocols apply to any person who is "two weeks past their final dose and any team where 85% of players and 85% of staff are fully vaccinated," the memo states.
Source: Baxter Holmes of ESPN
ANALYSIS: Baxter Holmes of ESPN added that, "Fully vaccinated individuals will no longer have to quarantine following exposure to COVID-19; can have friends, family, and others visit at home and on the road without having them test or register with the team' and can dine outdoors at restaurants, among other eased restrictions. Fully vaccinated teams will no longer have to wear masks at the practice facility; have more flexibility to leave the team hotel on the road; and can dine indoors or outdoors at restaurants, among other eased restrictions."
Sunday, it was reported that several members of the New Orleans Pelicans received the vaccine after the Louisiana government expanded the COVID-19 vaccine eligibility. With the NBA offering some sort of incentive to receive the vaccine now, we may see more teams throughout the league elect to get vaccinated as it becomes more widely available across the U.S.