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Here are the COVID-19 protocols that will be in place for NBA All-Star Weekend in Cleveland

All-Star Weekend
Posted at 12:11 PM, Jan 31, 2022

CLEVELAND — With the 2022 NBA All-Star Weekend less than three weeks away, Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb announced on Monday the COVID-19 protocols for fans and event attendees as well as a series of initiatives through a collaboration between the Cavaliers and the NBA to boost the city's vaccination rate and bolster the city's pandemic recovery.

At a press conference in the atrium of Tower City Center, Mayor Bibb announced that any guests that are 5 years and older will be required to show proof of either being fully vaccinated or recently testing negative for COVID-19. In order to meet the testing requirement of the COVID-19 protocols, guests will be required to have a negative PCR test 48 hours before their first event or a negative antigen test the day of their first event. The protocols were developed and approved through a joint effort between the city, the Cleveland Cavaliers, NBA as well as local and federal health officials.

Watch Mayor Bibb's full news conference from Monday, Jan. 31 here.

The proof will only have to be provided once and will be valid for any event a guest attends during All-Star Weekend.

"We were in lock-step and coordinated to make sure we had the right protocols in place to keep all of our visitors — but also my priority is our residents — to keep them healthy and safe too," Bibb said. "While we are excited to host this global event, the health and safety of everyone connected to [All Star Weekend] is a top priority of my administration."

Additionally, the mask advisory in Cleveland will remain in place throughout the weekend. Those at inside events will be encouraged to wear a face mask or covering, but it will not be a mandate, Bibb said.

Scheduled for Feb. 18 through Feb. 20, the NBA's talent showcase is expected to draw tens of thousands of visitors into the region and is projected to have an estimated $100 million economic impact, according to the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission. The economic impact of the event is measured by an estimation of outside dollars being spent in the region that would not have otherwise been spent, officials said.

The major event, which follows the NFL Draft being held in Cleveland last year, will be an important weekend for the city's hotel and restaurant industries, which face long post-pandemic recoveries.

"We believe that this will be the economic boost that our hospitality sector needs as we come out of this pandemic over the next couple of months," Bibb said. "Hosting an event of this scale allows us to showcase our city to tens of thousands of fans."

Len Komoroski, the president and CEO of the Cleveland Cavaliers, said the All-Star festivities will attract new audiences — even those watching at home and around the world.

"This game, these events, these activities, will be televised in 215 counties and territories worldwide," Komoroski said. "When you take into account social and digital media, over 2 billion people... will consume all star game events and activities."

In addition to the excitement surrounding the game and other festivities, the event has also helped to forge a collaboration between Cleveland, the Cavaliers and the NBA, particularly in the ongoing vaccination efforts. The vaccination rate among Cleveland residents is hovering around 46%, roughly 20 percentage points short of Cuyahoga County's vaccination rate as well as Ohio's vaccination rate.

As part of the collaboration between the city, the Cavs and the league, the NBA will be donating 10,000 rapid antigen tests and 100,000 masks of various types. A $100,000 donation will also be provided to the Cleveland Foundation's Funders Collaborative for COVID Recovery, created to increase vaccine access and uptake, as well as address homelessness,and support advocacy in numerous other areas of need.

Bibb said that Cleveland's public education and outreach campaign will feature NBA and Cavs players, coaches and legends helping provide educational resources about the COVID-19 vaccine and encourage residents to get the jab.

Several pop-up vaccination clinics are also being planned and special All-Star Weekend-related incentives will be offered to residents.

"We have special incentives for you to get your vaccine or booster, including All Star tickets, merchandise and special autographed items, tickets to Cavs games and more," Bibb said. "We will also be working with the NBA and the Cleveland Cavaliers to bring pop up vaccination clinics in the hardest hit neighborhoods across Cleveland to make sure that our communities, particularly, our communities of color get vaccinated and get boosted to stop the spread of COVID-19."

With NBA All-Star Weekend expected to provide a major economic boost to the city, Bibb said that in addition to ensuring COVID-19 safety, the city is also focused on making sure businesses are prepared to handle the surge of patrons headed to Cleveland.

Bibb said that many businesses in Cleveland are looking to hire extra staff to handle in the influx of business, and Destination Cleveland and the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission have begun outreach with local businesses in the service and hospitality sectors to make sure they are as prepared as possible for the event.

The NBA and National Basketball Players Association have also committed to provide additional support to the city throughout the year, including more than $3 million in social and community impact.

And as for all of the snow still left on city streets with the possibility of a major snowstorm impacting Northeast Ohio in the coming days, Bibb asked for patience as they continue to work out issues with the city's snow removal program. Bibb said it is his intention to add 20 trucks to the snow fleet, but that won't happen overnight.

The mayor did say that there will be announcements Tuesday about better coordination to get all of the resources and assets at hand to keep streets plowed and cleared, but asked for patience as the city works out the kinks.

"I would just ask for patience because snowplows can only move as quickly as they possibly can given inclement weather events in our city," Bibb said. "We will do everything we possibly can to keep our streets safe in the event of a major storm later this week, so it's all hands on deck."

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