Warriors still 'hopeful' fans can attend games by season's end


Rick Welts said Monday the Warriors are "really hopeful" they'll be able to welcome fans back into Chase Center by the end of the season after California Gov. Gavin Newsom lifted statewide stay-at-home orders amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Warriors have had "pretty serious conversations" with officials from San Francisco and the state about their plans to have fans in attendance. Welts said Monday on "Warriors Pregame Live" the organization would test every person who enters the building.

"We think testing is a huge key, and we think we could play, even with a full building, at some point," Welts said. "We understand what's going on in the country right now. We understand the time that we're in at the moment. This isn't the moment, but we're back engaged in those conversations."

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San Francisco's Department of Public Health rejected the Warriors' proposal in November to have up to 9,000 fans in attendance, or half of Chase Center's capacity. A week before, Warriors CEO Joe Lacob told ESPN he was willing to spend more than $30 million to provide rapid PCR testing to fans. Cue, the makers of the PCR tests the NBA used in its Orlando, Fla. bubble a year ago, claims its test correctly identified people who were positive for COVID-19 98.7 percent of the time across four clinical studies.

California lifted its stay-at-home orders Monday, with the Bay Area among the affected regions now projected to have intensive care unit capacity over 15 percent over the next four weeks. Fewer than 1 percent of the state had been fully vaccinated as of Monday morning, according to NBC News tracking. California had vaccinated 4,653 citizens per 100,000, a lower rate than all but 10 states.


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