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Thunder announce health and safety protocols for 2021-22 season

Fans will need proof of vaccination or a negative test to enter Paycom Center

Dallas Mavericks v Oklahoma City Thunder - Game Five Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images

In a press release, the Oklahoma City Thunder announced health and safety protocols for the 2021-22 season.

To attend a home game, fans must either show their COVID-19 vaccination card or a negative COVID-19 test from the past 72 hours. Fans will also be strongly encouraged to wear masks.

“As we continue to face serious health challenges from COVID-19, we must remain committed to protecting the health and safety of our community,” said Thunder Chairman Clay Bennett. “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 Paycom Center — which has an 18K capacity — hosted all 35 of the Thunder’s home games last season without fans. OKC was also the only team in the NBA last season that went the entire season without letting fans in.

The Thunder opens its preseason schedule on Oct. 4 against the Charlotte Hornets at home. This will be the first packed crowd for a Thunder home game since March 11, 2020 (572 days), where a game against the Utah Jazz was postponed due to Rudy Gobert testing positive for COVID-19.