NBA Health & Safety Protocol: The NBA has defined a strict policy on cracking down on players safety when it comes to the COVID pandemic.
Just recently, Chris Paul became the latest victim of the NBA Health & Safety Protocol rules as he faces an indefinite suspension. LeBron James was almost met with the same fate before, but he was vaccinated, and so he wasn’t punished.
Even before him, Zach Lavine had violated the rules, missing 14 games for the Chicago Bulls. So, what are the rules exactly, and why are some players punished but not others?
Phoenix Suns star point guard Chris Paul has entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols and is out indefinitely, jeopardizing his availability for the Western Conference finals. https://t.co/6fR9L6nOLI
— One Sports (@OneSportsPHL) June 16, 2021
NBA Health & Safety Protocols: NBA COVID Protocol Rules Explained
The NBA Health & Safety protocols are geared towards encouraging players and staff to get vaccinated. As of March 18th, the NBA had greatly reduced the number of restrictions they imposed if an NBA player was vaccinated.
This only applies to teams which have an 85% rate of players and 85% staff who are fully vaccinated. The NBA defines fully vaccinated as someone who is 14 days past of his second dose.
Given these protocols, it’s easy to see why someone like LeBron wasn’t punished but CP3 might be. LeBron attended an event where people were required to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test. It is likely that CP3 didn’t face these same measures.
The NBA provided this infographic to help teams understand what they can and can’t do following an 85% vaccination rate:
— Baxter Holmes (@Baxter) March 18, 2021
These are the biggest takeaways:
- No mandatory quarantines based on exposure.
- Players can go to outdoor restaurants
- No PCR tests on off-days. PCR tests on game days can be done earlier (before 5 p.m.).
- Players can bring up to four guests with them on the road without prior testing.
- Players can leave hotel rooms at any time.
- Staff and players can attend meetings in person. This includes both team-related meetings and business meetings.
- Masks will no longer be required at team facilities.
As of right now, the NBA hasn’t provided anything concrete on Chris Paul’s status, but we should know very soon. If he did indeed commit an infraction, and he wasn’t vaccinated, he could be out for a while.