Hawks will be 100% vaccinated by season’s start

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Credit: Atlanta Hawks

The NBA season is just around the corner, but many states/regions are still implementing COVID-19 restrictions, and the league itself likely will impose strict guidelines for unvaccinated players. With training camp beginning Tuesday, questions have been raised about how that will affect those players and their teams.

What about playing in one of the many NBA arenas, for example, that requires proof of vaccination for fans to enter?

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The Hawks, however, won’t have to worry, as they’ll be 100% vaccinated by the start of the 2021-22 season, general manager Travis Schlenk said Friday. One player still has to receive his second dose, but that will be taken care of by the time the season rolls around. All Hawks staff is vaccinated.

“We are going to be 100% vaccinated again this year,” Schlenk said. “We have one player who’s going to receive his second shot next week, so before the regular season starts we’ll be full vaccinated, and obviously the whole staff is vaccinated.”

Although NBA guidelines are subject to change, one way being fully vaccinated will help the Hawks is fewer COVID tests on the schedule – last season, players would have to test early in the morning, even if they had just returned home from a road trip the night before. This season, fully vaccinated players and staff won’t have to regularly test, but unvaccinated players have to return a negative test before entering the practice facility, participating in a team activity or interacting with another player and typically will have to test twice on game days.

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