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A KN95 mask. Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

The NBA will begin requiring players to wear KN95 or KF94 masks in all instances where masks are required (i.e. on the bench during games).

Why it matters: Many Americans are still grabbing the most available or comfortable masks, but not necessarily the most effective ones. Having the NBA's most visible stars wearing them could help send a message.

  • Plus, for a league that spent millions of dollars on daily testing and has rigorous protocols in place, not requiring high-quality masks is foolish.

The big picture: Don't be surprised if you start seeing more high-filtration masks like the KN95 and KF94, as experts push for increased production and usage.

"I think we should be making a harder push to boost manufacturing of high-quality masks and do more to get better masks in the hands of consumers. ... The new variants increase the urgency here."
— Scott Gottlieb, former FDA commissioner, via WSJ

Go deeper: The difference between KN95 and K594 masks (NY Mag)

Go deeper

Updated Nov 26, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: U.S. to mandate vaccines for anyone who crosses borders starting in January — Shots lagged data by months — The next big bottleneck in the global vaccination effort.
  2. Health: The Thanksgiving bouncers — Axios-Ipsos poll: Thanksgiving roulette — Experts criticize CDC's language on vaccine boosters — America's Thanksgiving gamble.
  3. Politics: Biden administration asks appeals court to reinstate vaccine mandate — Michigan recommends face masks for all residents amid surge.
  4. Education: A COVID strategy backfires at schools — Schools across the U.S. offer vaccine drivesBenefits of in-person school outweigh risks, study finds.
  5. World: EU drug regulator recommends Pfizer COVID vaccine for kids — Italy announces new COVID restrictions for unvaccinated people — European health agency urges expanding booster shot access.
  6. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
2 hours ago - Health

WHO: Not yet known whether Omicron leads to more severe disease

Photo illustration: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The World Health Organization on Sunday said that it is not yet clear whether the newly discovered Omicron variant is more transmissible than other strains of the COVID-19 virus.

Why it matters: The agency's statement comes as the variant, discovered in South Africa, has already been detected in European and Asian countries.

7 hours ago - Health

Fauci: Omicron variant will "inevitably" be found in U.S.

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, cautioned on Sunday that the COVID-19 Omicron variant will "inevitably" be found in the United States.

Driving the news: Fauci, Biden's chief medical adviser, told ABC's George Stephanopoulos on "This Week" that U.S. officials will meet with colleagues from South Africa later on Sunday to try to determine the severity of the cases, as countries scramble to learn more about the variant.