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Utah Jazz say masks remain mandatory to attend games, all events in Vivint Area



With a state mask mandate legislated away on April 10, the Utah Jazz and Vivint Arena announced masks will still be required at home basketball games and all events in the arena.

“Face masks over the nose and mouth are required for guests and staff (age 2+) throughout the arena unless a person is actively eating or drinking. Compliance with mandatory masks aligns with the safety measures established by the NBA and local health officials for mass gatherings,” the team said Monday.

Utah Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson (00) hangs from the rim after dunking against the Golden State Warriors during the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Masks are considered a health and safety protocol against the COVID-19 virus that has killed 2.8 million people globally, more than 560,000 people in the U.S. and 2,133 people in Utah. State lawmakers passed a law during the 2021 legislative session ending the mask mandate declared by Gov. Gary Herbert who has since left office. Current Gov. Spencer Cox said the date was a compromise he reached with lawmakers who would have preferred to end the mandate sooner.

Cox and state health officials wanted the mask mandate to last longer but lawmakers passed a bill to end the mandate in what Cox said was a veto-proof majority.

Cox has since urged businesses and citizens to continue to wear masks, social distance and to get vaccines to combat the virus in the state. The 2020 NBA was cut short and then played in a bubble of protection in Florida where fans and media were not allowed in games. The current NBA season started late in 2020 and each state has different rules regarding the number of fans attending games.

Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) sits on the bench in the second half during an NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz, Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Other COVID-19 procedures will remain in place, including health screenings, socially distanced seating arrangements, contactless entry with digital tickets, cashless transactions for concessions and merchandise, and reduced capacity in common spaces.

Vivint Arena has also implemented a “no bag” policy this year to expedite entry and reduce screening touchpoints. The only exceptions are diaper and medical bags that will be X-rayed and cannot be larger than 14x14x6 inches, according to Monday’s statement.

The Jazz began the second half of the NBA season in March with an arena capacity of about 5,500 fans. The Jazz have an upcoming five-game homestand from April 8 to April 16. The final home game of the regular season at Vivint Arena is scheduled for May 12.

“We continue to prioritize the health and safety of our fans, employees and players,” said Utah Jazz President Jim Olson. “We are pleased that fans have been able to attend games since December in a limited capacity with incremental increases. While progress is being made with ongoing vaccinations, we are staying the course to maintain a safe and comfortable environment and will adjust our plans as public health conditions improve.”

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