The Oklahoma City Thunder announced the health and safety protocol on Tuesday for the beginning of their 2021-22 season.
Beginning on Oct. 4, Oklahoma City’s preseason debut, fans will be required to provide proof of full or partial vaccination or a negative COVID test taken within 72 hours to enter Paycom Center.
The Thunder will also be strongly recommending that fans wear face masks while in the arena.
The game entry policy will last through at least the first 12 contests of the preseason and regular season. It will also be in effect for Oklahoma City’s preseason matchup on Oct. 14 at the BOK Center in Tulsa.
The Thunder’s policy will be constantly reviewed based on the status of COVID cases specific to Oklahoma.
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“As we continue to face serious health challenges from COVID-19, we must remain committed to protecting the health and safety of our community,” Thunder Chairman Clay Bennett said. “While there are no perfect answers, our health experts tell us the vaccine has proven to be effective in slowing the spread of this virus, including the Delta variant. We feel the best option to help keep our community safe is to make sure those who attend our games have a reduced chance of contracting or spreading the virus. We are in frequent consultation with our partners at OU Health, the NBA and other health experts and organizations to monitor the situation and we plan to evaluate the status of this policy for December and beyond.”
“The spread of COVID-19 throughout Oklahoma these past couple of months has taken a great toll on our healthcare workers and hospital resources, often keeping critically ill patients waiting in emergency departments or being sent out of the area due to a lack of beds,” OU Health Chief Quality Officer and University of Oklahoma Chief COVID Officer Dr. Dale Bratzler said. “I am extremely pleased to hear the steps the Oklahoma City Thunder is taking to not only help reduce the risk of transmission during games, but in encouraging Oklahomans to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccines have proven to be extremely safe and are quite effective in reducing the risk of breakthrough COVID infections. Be safe, Oklahoma.”
Fans will have the option to show proof of vaccination via cards or negative test results through the Thunder Mobile App or a special website though mobile phones. Printed or digital photos of the CDC’s cards will also be accepted.
More information on OKC’s policies can be found here.
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