Amid coronavirus, Hawks take extra steps to keep State Farm Arena clean

January 24, 2020 Atlanta: Morning walkers stroll past State Farm Arena on Monday morning, Jan. 27, 2020 where the Atlanta Hawks played Sunday night mindful of the tragic deaths of Kobe Bryant, who was killed in a helicopter crash along with his daughter and seven others Sunday. Atlanta Hawks Trae Young reflected on the tragedy Sunday following the Hawks game at State Farm Arena. “We didn’t have a lot on our mind besides Kobe and Gigi and everybody in the accident,” Young told Fox Sports Southeast’s Andre Aldridge in his postgame interview after his electric performance. “We just wanted to go out and play hard, have that mamba mentality.” Gianna, a budding student of the game, was a big fan of Young’s, who attended some basketball camps of Bryant’s back in high school and watched him play in Oklahoma City in the later years of his career, when he wore No. 24 (the Wizards took a 24-second shot-clock violation to start Sunday’s game). Bryant eventually got in contact with Young’s trainer, Alex Bazzell, and enlisted his help working with Gianna. She and Bryant sat courtside for two Hawks games this season: the loss in Los Angeles Nov. 17 and the loss in Brooklyn Dec. 21. In the wake of the crash, Young tweeted about meeting Gianna for the first time after the Lakers game, posting a picture of the two of them about to embrace in a hallway in Staples Center as Bryant looked on. “She told me how much she loved watching me play,” Young said of the encounter, a smile cracking through the sadness. “She was a big fan of mine.” JOHN SPINK/JSPINK@AJC.COM

Credit: JOHN SPINK / AJC

Credit: JOHN SPINK / AJC

In light of the coronavirus, the Hawks have taken added measures to keep State Farm Arena clean and safe for fans and staff attending home games.

In addition to increasing the cleaning staff by 10%, which adds dozens more employees, per Hawks CEO Steve Koonin, more than 100 sanitation stations have been added throughout the building.

Also, after every home game (and any additional event taking place at State Farm Arena), the arena will be cleaned using fog machines that can chemically disinfect harder-to-access surfaces, in addition to the traditional spraying and wiping down of surfaces, with an emphasis on areas and objects that are touched often, such as handrails, doorknobs, chairs and elevator buttons.

“We’re committed to our fan and our employee safety,” Hawks CEO Steve Koonin said. “... We’re trying to think it through to the last detail. Obviously, food surface workers (wearing) gloves. Obviously, everything that we can do to try to ensure our fans and our employees and our safety, we’re going to do.”

Including Monday’s game against the Hornets, the Hawks have nine home games left this season, which concludes with a home game vs. the Cavaliers April 15.

The expanded cleaning process will stay in place for as long as necessary, per Koonin.

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