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On Monday morning, City of Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb announced a COVID-19 vaccination campaign developed in partnership with the Cleveland Cavaliers organization as well as the NBA. The campaign will team up with the recently announce citywide COVID-19 Taskforce and will receive support from the Cavaliers organization and the NBA ahead of this February's NBA All-Star event.
"While we are seeing a slight decrease in COVID-19 cases throughout the city, the vaccination rates in our city are still too low," said Bibb in from of the NBA's Ice Bucket display in Tower City. "Only 46 percent. 46 percent! Are vaccinated. And frankly, that's not good enough. Our administration will make sure that 60 percent of all of our residents are vaccinated by the end of the year.
"Today's forthcoming announcement will be a step in the right direction to achieve that goal in our city. We have the tools and we can and must do better to stop the spread all across our city."
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The efforts to encourage COVID-19 vaccination, boosters and health education start with a city-wide public education campaign that will feature NBA personalities as well as notable Cavaliers. There will also be special incentives for when City of Cleveland residents receive a COVID-19 vaccination or boosters as well. Opportunities to receive tickets to NBA All-Star events or upcoming Cavaliers games. Special autographed items or memorabilia and more. The City of Cleveland, alongside the Cavaliers organization and NBA, are fully committed to helping spread vaccination education and awareness in order to make the city a safer place to live amid a global pandemic.
Not only that, but the Cavaliers organization and NBA have contributed additional donations, resources and support to aid citywide testing and vaccine efforts. Together, they donated 10,000 rapid antigen tests and 100,000 KF94 masks to the COVID-19 Taskforce to distribute to City of Cleveland schools and community-based organizations. The NBA itself donated $100,000 to the Cleveland Foundation's Funders Collaborative for COVID Recovery while Bibb shared that the Cavaliers organization has given nearly $3 million to multiple organizations. Finally, the Cavaliers and NBA have worked with the City of Cleveland to help eventually create additional pop-up vaccination sites in partnership with the COVID-19 Taskforce across the city.
Bibb stressed that while the forthcoming All-Star weekend helped spark this initiative, support from the NBA and the Cavaliers organization will not end once the festivities conclude. This will be a grassroots movement that is fully supported by all parties for the long haul. Bibb hopes that this will help reach his administration's goal to reach a 60 percent vaccination threshold by the end of the year.
Newly-elected City of Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb announced a multi-million dollar collaborative effort between his administration, the NBA and the Cleveland Cavaliers organization.
In anticipation of thousands of visitors coming to Cleveland to partake in NBA All-Star events, the City of Cleveland, the Cavaliers organization, the NBA and health officials worked in partnership to develop health and safety protocols for all ticketed guests attending. The protocols are guided by the most recent recommendations from the CDC and the Cleveland Department of Public Health.
Before participating in any ticketed events, all guests aged five and up must show proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or have proof of a negative COVID-19 test. Fulfilling the testing option requires either a negative PCR test 48 hours before their first event or a negative antigen test the day of their first event. Full vaccination, meanwhile, is defined by the CDC as one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine or two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna COVID-19 vaccines. The City of Cleveland's mask advisory is expected to remain in place through the weekend and there will not be a mandate.
The hope is also that the NBA All-Star weekend will also generate nearly $100 million in economic impact, according to the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission. The figure is a rough estimate based on the year's past events. According to sources, metrics indicate that the Cavaliers, the NBA and the City of Cleveland might end up eclipsing that total when All-Star festivities conclude. Bibb hopes that this economic surge will bolster the City of Cleveland's struggling food and hospitality industry, which is understaffed and ravaged by COVID-19.
"The one thing that's emblematic about our community is how we come together," said Cavaliers Chief Executive Officer Len Komoroski. "How we work collaboratively to bring these events to optimize for our city, for our community and put our community in the best light in terms of how we present ourselves to the world.
"The collaboration, which has been a consistent theme, is our ability to take these top-tier events and execute them at such a high level, the highest level, has become a trademark of our community as a whole."
"We are weeks away from hosting NBA All-Star weekend and we'll have visitors from all across the world coming to our fair city of Cleveland, Ohio," said Bibb. "From February 18 to the 20, our great city will become the center of the basketball world, hosting the league's premier mid-season event during their 75th year anniversary. As a basketball junkie, I'm really excited that our city will be hosting this year's All-Star festivities. … Cleveland is open for business."
All full economic impact report will be available to the public after the conclusion of Cleveland hosting NBA All-Star weekend. Beyond the health and safety measures and contributions, the NBA and National Basketball Players Association have also committed to providing additional support to the City of Cleveland throughout the year. More than $3 million in social and community initiatives will be used to impact the greater-Cleveland community.
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