About 70% of eligible NBA players have now received COVID-19 booster shots, sources told ESPN, a number that comprises about 350 total players — more than half of a league that has a total player count typically hovering around 500.
The NBA has encouraged and incentivized receiving booster shots and, in a memo sent to teams Thursday and obtained by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, is requiring non-boosted players to undergo daily coronavirus testing through the All-Star break in mid-February. The league is also restricting those players’ attendance at large indoor gatherings, bars and clubs, the memo stated.
NBA commissioner Adam Silver told ESPN’s Malika Andrews in late December that the omicron variant was responsible for 90% of the positive cases that the league was seeing, but that number has now reached 100%, sources told ESPN.
As of Friday afternoon, 314 players total have entered the league’s health and safety protocols this season, with 252 entering in December and 53 entering so far in January. Thirteen NBA head coaches have also entered health and safety protocols, and the NBA has postponed 11 games so far this season because of COVID-related issues.