LaMarcus Aldridge, DeAndre Bembry, Jevon Carter and James Johnson have entered the NBA's health and safety protocols, meaning the Brooklyn Nets have five players out for Tuesday's game against the Toronto Raptors.
Paul Millsap was previously placed into protocols.
All Nets players are required to be vaccinated in order to play under New York City laws. NBA rules require vaccinated players to either sit out 10 days from the onset of their first positive test or provide two negative PCR tests 24 hours apart.
NBA teams have seen a marked increase in positive tests since the Thanksgiving holiday. The league postponed the Chicago Bulls' next two games—Tuesday against the Pistons and Thursday against the Raptors—as the team placed 10 players in health and safety protocols.
While vaccines are safe and effective at preventing serious illnesses, a combination of COVID-19 variants and the decreased preventative nature of the vaccines over time likely has led to more positive tests. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends people who underwent a two-shot vaccination (Pfizer or Moderna) receive a booster six months after their second shot, and those who received a one-shot vaccination (Johnson & Johnson) receive a booster after two months.
According to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, the NBA said players who have not received their booster by Dec. 17 will be subject to gameday testing. Likewise, all employees who have not gotten a booster by Dec. 17 will no longer be allowed to interact with Tier 1 personnel (players, coaches, referees, etc.).
Data has shown booster shots to be far more effective at preventing infection.