SF health officials: Exemption won't allow Warriors' Wiggins to play if unvaccinated

Michael Nowels and Laurence Miedema, The Mercury News on

Published in Basketball

“Under the current order, if unvaccinated, they cannot enter indoor areas regardless of the reason they are unvaccinated and cannot test out of this requirement even if they have a medical or religious exemption,” the San Francisco Department of Public Health said in a statement to this news organization. “This same rule applies to performers and players employed by the host at large and mega indoor events who are covered by the vaccination requirements of the Health Order.”

No other current Warrior has been as publicly declarative as Wiggins about not being vaccinated.

Training camps around the country are set to open this weekend and the NBA is not requiring players to receive COVID-19 vaccine shots, but local jurisdictions like this one will keep un-vaccinated players off the court in San Francisco and New York.

Wiggins was counting on a religious or medical exemption, though it is not clear what the basis would be for either claim. He’s far from alone.

NBA Players Association Executive Director Michele Roberts recently told Yahoo Sports that about 90% of the league’s players have been vaccinated. But that means about 70 players — about two per team — did not receive the shots.


Another big-name player who is believed to be resisting vaccination is the Nets’ Kyrie Irving, who is subject to New York’s mandate.

San Francisco’s mandate, which went into effect Aug. 20, requires proof of vaccination for age 12 and up to enter any indoor event with 1,000 or more attendees. It appears the department of public health plans to treat the Warriors’ players and staff like they do the fans when it comes to that requirement. Staff covered by the requirement must be vaccinated by Oct. 13.

The Warriors’ first game after that date is an Oct. 15 preseason home game against the Portland Trail Blazers. Their first regular-season game is in Los Angeles against the Lakers on Oct. 19, but they return to Chase Center two nights later to face the Clippers.

Wiggins’ presence there depends on how soon he gets the shot. The one-dose Johnson & Johnson is the only vaccine that can get someone fully inoculated within that four-week time frame. If he does not receive a dose by Oct. 7, he cannot play in the home opener.

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