Coronavirus: NBA to mandate players wear KN95 or KF94 masks

It is the latest effort by the league to mitigate the spread of Covid-19 among players, coaches and staff. PHOTO: REUTERS/USA TODAY SPORTS

LOS ANGELES (REUTERS) - The National Basketball Association is poised to issue yet another mask mandate, requiring players to wear KN95 or KF94 masks, ESPN reported on Tuesday (Feb 2).

The policy is expected to go into effect next week once the league distributes the masks to every team, according to the report.

It is the latest effort by the league to mitigate the spread of Covid-19 among players, coaches and staff.

Last month, the league made it mandatory practice for dressed and active players to wear masks on the bench until they enter a game.

The NBA has postponed 23 games so far this season due to health and safety protocols.

The KN95 and KF94 masks are similar and come close to the filtration found in N95 masks, that are reserved for medical professionals. KF stands for Korean filter; KN is the Chinese equivalent to N95 masks. The KF94 captures 94 per cent of particles in the air whereas the KN95 captures 95 per cent.

Sun welcome fans back

Meanwhile, the Phoenix Suns will allow a limited number of fans to attend games for the first time this season, starting with a special invitation to healthcare workers on Sunday.

The team will allow 1,500 ticketed fans starting on Monday against the Cleveland Cavaliers, not including suites that can be filled to 25 per cent capacity.

The Suns are offering complimentary tickets to healthcare workers and their families for Sunday's contest against the Boston Celtics.

"As the true MVPs of our community, we want to honour and thank our healthcare heroes for all they have done during these challenging times," Suns president and chief executive officer Jason Rowley said in a statement.

"We're thrilled to welcome fans back to Phoenix Suns Arena. Our staff has worked tirelessly with the NBA and health officials to ensure proper protocols are in place to keep everyone safe."

This limited accommodation is in accordance with guidelines provided by the Center for Disease Control, the NBA and Arizona Department of Health Services, the team said.

Before attending, however, fans must fill out and submit a Fan Promise, an online standardised health questionnaire about Covid-19 symptoms and exposure.

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