OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Officials with the Oklahoma City Thunder say fans who want to enter the Paycom Center for games will be required to provide proof of either full or partial COVID vaccination or a negative test taken within 72 hours prior to the game, starting Oct. 4.
The game entry policy will remain in effect through at least the first 12 games of the preseason and regular season at Paycom Center (Oct. 4 – Nov. 26) and will also be in effect for the preseason game on Oct. 14 at BOK Center in Tulsa.
Thunder officials say the policy will be constantly reviewed based on the status of COVID cases in Oklahoma.
“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 Thunder also strongly recommends fans wear face masks while in the arena. The NBA is expected to impose additional guidelines for fans sitting courtside.
“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,” said Dr. Dale Bratzler, OU Health Chief Quality Officer and University of Oklahoma Chief COVID Officer. “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.”
Officials say fans can upload vaccination cards and test results to the Thunder Mobile App or present printed or digital photos of CDC vaccination cards or test results.
Full details can be found in the Thunder Health and Safety Protocols.