Los Angeles on Wednesday became the third city to pass a comprehensive COVID-19 vaccination mandate, though the Staples Center, home of the NBA’s Lakers and Clippers and NHL’s Kings, said Thursday that the rule will not apply to it.
The ordinance, passed by the Los Angeles City Council and signed by Mayor Eric Garcetti, takes effect Nov. 29. From that day on, everyone who enters, among other facilities, indoor gyms must be fully vaccinated, which means 14 days past their last dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
“Vaccination of multiple Angelenos is our only way out of this pandemic, and we must do everything we can to keep pushing those numbers up,” Garcetti said in a statement. “These new rules will encourage more people to get the shot and make companies safer for workers and customers – so we can save more lives, better protect the vulnerable and make our communities even safer when we fight this pandemic.”
New York City and San Francisco previously announced similar mandates.
The Staples Center said the Los Angeles ordinance does not apply to it or Microsoft Theater, “which is already subject to an existing LACDPH order addressing this issue.”
The STAPLES Center and Microsoft Theater will continue to follow the protocols established by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH), which require guests to show evidence of being fully vaccinated or provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test. 72 hours before the event date in addition to wearing approved face masks when they are not actively eating or drinking, «it was stated in a statement.
In the Los Angeles mandate, there is an exception for “non-resident artists” —as there are in both the New York City and San Francisco versions. That means it does not apply to visiting NBA players.
Both the Lakers and Clippers said last month that their team is or is in the process of being vaccinated. The NHL’s Kings also said they are fully vaccinated as a team.
Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka said in his pre-season media session that the Lakers will be fully vaccinated at the opening night later this month.
“On the opening night, when we play the Golden State Warriors, all the players currently on our team schedule that night will be considered fully vaccinated,” said Pelinka, who is also the team president of basketball operations, video conference call on Thursday. “We are really grateful for that.”
Lakers star Anthony Davis said later in the day that he thought the Lakers were already fully vaccinated.
And although Clippers owner Steve Ballmer and president of basketball operations Lawrence Frank declined to talk about their team’s vaccination status earlier, coach Tyronn Lue said during the team’s training camp in San Diego last week that his team was fully vaccinated.
“Our guys are vaccinated, so we just have to do what the league tells us; we try to abide by the rules and go from there,” Lue said last week. “And we talked about the last year, just being able to adapt and do what we have to do to play the game we love. And then certain players, certain people have different beliefs, so I respect those beliefs. And our guys are fully vaccinated, so I also respect their beliefs. “
San Francisco, like Los Angeles, has a requirement that people be fully vaccinated to enter buildings like the Chase Center, the Warriors’ home. New York, on the other hand, requires proof of only one shot of a vaccine to gain access to, among other places, Madison Square Garden and the Barclays Center, the New York Knicks ‘and Brooklyn Nets’ homes, respectively.
Over the weekend, Golden State striker Andrew Wiggins was vaccinated so he could play in home games in San Francisco when the normal season begins later in the month.
“The only options were to get vaccinated or not play in the NBA,” Wiggins said after the Warriors’ pre-season opener for the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday, his first public comments since he was shot. “It was a tough decision. Hopefully it works out in the long run and in 10 years I’m still healthy.”
Nets star Kyrie Irving, on the other hand, continues to sit out the activities in New York because he has not yet received a shot. The rest of the Nets as well as the entire roster for the Knicks and Warriors abide by the local mandates.
“I know I want to be there every day no matter what and just be present for my teammates as one of the leaders on the team and be there for my growing tribe off the field,” Irving said during a virtual media session last week during Brooklyn’s media day because he was unable to attend the Barclays Center in person because of the mandate.
“I know the focus should be on an all-time high, no distractions. This is the last thing I wanted to create was more distractions and more hoopla and more drama around this. I do my best to maintain this with good intentions and a good heart. “
ESPN’s Nick Friedell, Dave McMenamin, Ohm Youngmisuk and Greg Wyshynski contributed to this report.