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Saban: Alabama will be “very cautious” in COVID-19 protocols

August 5, 2021 GMT
Twelve Alabama football players along with Coach Nick Saban and members of the staff helped with construction on the Habitat for Humanity Tuscaloosa's 18th Championship House funded by the Nick's Kids Foundation Tuesday, July 27, 2021, in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Saban and homeowner Joselyn Hamner share a laugh on the front porch of her new house. (Gary Cosby Jr./The Tuscaloosa News via AP)
Twelve Alabama football players along with Coach Nick Saban and members of the staff helped with construction on the Habitat for Humanity Tuscaloosa's 18th Championship House funded by the Nick's Kids Foundation Tuesday, July 27, 2021, in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Saban and homeowner Joselyn Hamner share a laugh on the front porch of her new house. (Gary Cosby Jr./The Tuscaloosa News via AP)
Twelve Alabama football players along with Coach Nick Saban and members of the staff helped with construction on the Habitat for Humanity Tuscaloosa's 18th Championship House funded by the Nick's Kids Foundation Tuesday, July 27, 2021, in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Saban and homeowner Joselyn Hamner share a laugh on the front porch of her new house. (Gary Cosby Jr./The Tuscaloosa News via AP)

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Alabama coach Nick Saban isn’t taking any chances with COVID-19 with the season approaching.

Saban says the team will use the 2020 safety protocols for “the next six weeks or so” even though the vast majority of his players are fully vaccinated.

“We’re still going to be very cautious indoors and in meetings and so forth on trying not to have an issue with the COVID,” Saban said Thursday ahead of the defending national champions’ first preseason practice. “We’re hopeful that we’ll be able to have full capacity in the stadium. I’m hopeful that more and more people will get vaccinated so they’ll have the opportunity to do that. But that’s everybody’s personal choice.”

Saban spoke to reporters at a ceremony where the city renamed a street after his charity, Nick’s Kids. Alabama opens the season Sept. 4 against Miami in Atlanta.

Saban said at Southeastern Conference media days last month that some 90% of his players are fully vaccinated. Alabama, meanwhile, remains the least vaccinated state in the nation with some 35% of Alabamians fully vaccinated, according to the CDC.

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