With the 2021-22 season tipping off in less than a month’s time, Boston Celtics fans are seeking answers to a myriad of questions. Can Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown take further steps down the path to superstardom? What is Ime Udoka’s plan of attack in his first year as a head coach? Will newbies Dennis Schroder and Josh Richardson actually make a difference?
Amid all the fun, basketball-related questions, though, the Beantown faithful and fans around the Association are also faced with a much more practical question. Specifically: what will the guidelines be for the actual, in-arena attendance of games with the COVID-19 pandemic heading into its third year?
Supporters in many cities around the NBA are still unsure how things will play out. However, the Boston masses received their first clarification on the matter via a TD Garden announcement on September 22. And it looks as though the arena and its partner teams and events are taking a strong stance in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Proof of Vaccination Will Be Required at TD Garden
Per a release on TD Garden’s official site, “all guests 12 years and older” will be required to show proof of vaccination in order to attend Celtics and/or Boston Bruins games. Moreover, those guests must be fully vaccinated, which will be defined as follows:
Individuals are considered “fully vaccinated” against COVID-19 at least 14 days after they have received the second dose in a two-dose series (e.g. Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) or at least 14 days after they have received a single-dose vaccine (e.g. Johnson and Johnson/Janssen).
Otherwise, providing a qualified negative COVID-19 test will be the only avenue toward gaining entry into the facility. Self-administered at-home rapid/antigen tests will not be accepted.
Furthermore, all attendees over the age of two will be required to wear face masks while in the arena “except while actively eating or drinking as permitted.” This is in accordance with a continuing public health order from the City of Boston.
The new entry requirements for TD Garden will officially go into effect on Thursday, September 30, 2021. On that night, the Bruins will be hosting the Philadelphia Flyers in the first home game of their ’21-22 preseason slate. It was further noted that these policies will be reviewed on an ongoing basis and updated as necessary.
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COVID-19 in the Commonwealth
Per the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, there were 1,821 new confirmed cases reported on September 21. That brought the seven-day average to 1,205.7 new confirmed cases daily. In total, the state has logged 745,771 total confirmed cases.
The greatest number of newly confirmed cases over the previous two-week period have come in the 20-29 age group with 4,999. Ages 30-39 came in second at 3,616.
There have been 18,118 confirmed COVID-19 deaths since the pandemic began. The latest report as of this writing added 24 new death to the tally.
NBC Boston gave the following update on statewide vaccination numbers on Wednesday:
Nearly 9.4 million vaccine doses have been administered in Massachusetts as of Tuesday. That includes shy of 4.8 million first shots and nearly 4.3 million second shots of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. There have been more than 309,000 doses of the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine administered.