The NBA has been devastated by the omicron variant of COVID-19 in recent weeks and several teams have had to sign replacement players just to try to prevent games from being postponed.
The roster of players and coaches in the league’s health and safety protocols has become endless, and according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, that doesn’t exclude NBA referees, either.
NBA COVID-19 Tracker: Team-by-Team Player List in Protocols | What games have been postponed due to COVID?
As of Dec. 30, Wojnarowski reported that more than a third of NBA officials are in league health and safety protocols, 36 percent, the season high.
“With 25 of the league’s 70 active umpires currently in quarantine, the league has been promoting G League umpires to fill out the nightly roster of games, sources said,” Wojnarowski said in his report.
“There have been rare cases lately where only two umpires, rather than the standard three, were available for games, but the NBA has continued to work to limit those occasions, sources said,” Wojnarowski also wrote.
He added that NBA referees are 100% vaccinated and should receive a full booster. Only a percentage of umpires currently on road trips haven’t gotten a boost, but they must do so by Wednesday, January 5.
He also cited that officials don’t have the protections, such as charter flights and five-star hotels, that teams and players have, but the NBA has been working with the National Association of Basketball Referees on travel-related improvements that may decrease. exposure to the virus.