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The Houston Rockets' James Harden during game against the San Antonio Spurs at the Toyota Center last Thursday in Houston, Texas. Photo: Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

The NBA announced it's fining Houston Rockets star James Harden $50,000 for COVID-19 protocols violations and postponing his team's Wednesday night season opener with the Oklahoma City Thunder following a coronavirus outbreak.

Why it matters: The NBA suspended the previous season in March due to the pandemic. It returned to play in late July in a bubble at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex near Orlando.

Details: The NBA said in a statement that three Rockets players had returned either positive or inconclusive tests for the virus, while four others were quarantined because of contract tracing.

  • Harden violated the rules when he attended a private indoor party on Monday, the NBA said.

Go deeper

Jan 29, 2021 - Health

NYC set to restart indoor dining in February, weddings in March

Outdoor dining in New York City in January. Photo: Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday that if the current coronavirus positivity in New York City holds, indoor dining will reopen at 25% capacity on Feb. 14, one of the busiest dining days of the year.

Why it matters: The forced closure of indoor dining in December caused major backlash, as New York's struggling restaurant industry had already been hit hard by pandemic restrictions. Restaurants will still be required to close at 1o p.m.

Jan 29, 2021 - Health

J&J says its one-shot vaccine is 66% effective against moderate to severe COVID

Photo: Thiago Prudêncio/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Johnson & Johnson announced Friday that its single-shot coronavirus vaccine was 66% effective in protecting against moderate to severe COVID-19 disease in Phase 3 trials, which was comprised of nearly 44,000 participants across eight countries.

Between the lines: The vaccine was 72% effective in the U.S., but only 57% effective in South Africa, where a more contagious variant has been spreading. It prevented 85% of severe infections and 100% of hospitalizations and deaths, according to the company.