The NBA is continuing to update its COVID-19 testing rules based on vaccination status.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, players who do not have a booster dose of the vaccine by December 17 will be subject to in-game testing.
Sources: Beginning Dec. 17, NBA players who have not received booster COVID-19 dose will be subject to game day testing. Also on Dec. 17, team personnel who have yet to receive booster are no longer permitted to interact with players, travel with team or continue as Tier 1.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) December 4, 2021
Those who do not have the booster vaccine in two weeks will also no longer be considered Tier 1 personnel and will have to socially distance from those who have received the booster vaccine.
Booster vaccines have been recommended by the CDC for those who have waited at least six months since their second dose of the vaccination, meaning those who received their second dose between June and now will be ineligible to remain Tier 1 personnel and must be tested every game day.
This will force the league to increase game-day testing for players, which will likely result in more positive cases around the league and more players missing game action. Teams like the Portland Trail Blazers, who are already battling a number of injuries, cannot afford to have any positive cases.