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Miami Heat: All employees must be vaccinated against COVID

Oklahoma City Thunder v Miami Heat

MIAMI, FLORIDA - JANUARY 04: A detail of the Miami Heat “Vice Versa” logo on the court during the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder at American Airlines Arena on January 04, 2021 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

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MIAMI (AP) — The Miami Heat announced Friday that all employees must be in the process of becoming fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Sept. 1.

Exemptions will be available for those awaiting a second dose of a two-shot vaccine or those with “a qualifying medical condition or a sincerely held religious belief,” the team said. Employees who have not met vaccination requirements by that date will not be allowed at work, and if they remain noncompliant eventually will be considered to have resigned.

This does not apply to the players on the Heat roster, their vaccination and testing protocols were collectively bargained with the league by the players’ union. The mandate is for other team employees.

The Heat said in a statement that the “stability and success of the live events industry hinges on prioritizing safety - of our players, our employees, our partners, our fans, our vendors and the media. One of the ways we can substantially minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission is to ensure our entire staff is vaccinated.”

The Heat have not yet revealed their plans for welcoming fans to home games this season.