This Is What Happens When an Athlete Tests Positive for COVID-19 on the Tokyo Olympics

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Japanese well being authorities have an aggressive testing plan in place for the Tokyo Olympics, however optimistic COVID-19 assessments are already cropping up.

With the Olympics going down throughout a pandemic, in a metropolis beneath a state of emergency, the Tokyo Organizing Committee has created a stringent set of insurance policies governing how athletes and their coaches, trainers and different employees should behave to reduce the chance of each importing infections and spreading illness within the Olympic group. But even with aggressive testing, infections can occur. That’s as a result of the virus is so unpredictable, and regardless that about 80% of athletes reported being vaccinated, the vaccines can’t forestall infections 100% of the time.

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Already, the system has detected three optimistic circumstances within the Olympic Village, and not less than just a few extra amongst athletes coaching outdoors of the Village, together with the primary optimistic check in a Team USA member, who’s an alternate on the ladies’s gymnastics workforce. The circumstances within the Village, amongst members of the South African males’s soccer workforce, meant your entire workforce was remoted and prevented from coaching collectively till repeated assessments amongst them proceed to be detrimental.

The technique for maintaining infections to a minimal over the approaching weeks includes maintaining Olympic-related guests in as a lot of a bubble as attainable, and testing everybody steadily. Any vacationers from overseas are requested to reduce their journey 14 days earlier than their Tokyo-bound flight, and to observe mitigation measures resembling sporting masks, social distancing, and hand washing no matter whether or not they’re vaccinated or not.

Read extra: Meet 6 Heroes Who Helped Battle COVID-19 Before Competing within the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics

Once in Tokyo, athletes will stay of their designated coaching areas till a number of days earlier than their competitors, at which era they’ll transfer into the Olympic Village. To decrease threat of spreading the virus, athletes will dine in shifts or be allowed to deliver their meals again to their rooms. Most opponents could have one roommate, and are being requested to spend time solely with their roommate and a small checklist of different shut contacts resembling their coach whereas within the Village. Each athlete can also be required to obtain a well being monitoring app and reply every day questions on whether or not they expertise any COVID-19-related signs. To get to their coaching websites or competitions, they will solely take Olympic transport in automobiles or buses during which the drivers are examined and monitored as carefully because the athletes are.

Athletes can be examined every day, and their temperatures can be recorded each time they enter the Olympic Village. Olympic opponents could have two alternatives to spit right into a specifically bar-coded assortment container—both within the morning or within the night—and have to be supervised by the designated COVID-19 Liaison Officer (CLO) of their respective groups. The outcomes of the spit assessments are made out there about 12 hours later to the CLO, who then follows up with any athlete whose check comes again optimistic.

To verify the optimistic end result, athletes can be requested to go to a delegated clinic in a devoted Olympic transport car to the Village for one more check, this time, one which includes a nasopharyngeal swab. The athlete will stay within the isolation ward of the clinic for 3 to 5 hours till the outcomes can be found.

Noriko Hayashi—Bloomberg/Getty ImagesSecurity examine on the entrance of the Kasai Canoe Slalom Centre, the venue for canoe slalom through the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, in Tokyo, Japan, on Tuesday, July 20, 2021. Japan’s pledge to carry a secure and safe video games is coming beneath risk as Covid-19 circumstances soar in Tokyo and visiting athletes check optimistic for the virus.

If the confirmatory check can also be optimistic, then the athlete is moved to a devoted resort facility outdoors the Village, once more in devoted Olympic transport. Volunteers prepare to deliver the athletes’ vital belongings to the resort. In the meantime, the athlete and the CLO work to create a listing of instant contacts—outlined as those that had been collectively 15 minutes or extra whereas lower than 1 m aside with out sporting masks—who will then be requested to get one other COVID-19 check.

At this level, the Results Advisory Expert Group (RAEG) will evaluation the case to find out if the athlete and the shut contacts can proceed competing. The RAEG is made up of eight members and 46 advisors; all eight of the members are docs, with 4 having experience in sports activities medication, two in infectious illness and two in public well being. The group will evaluation each optimistic case every day and decide the chance of getting that athlete proceed to compete. “It’s arduous to consider that they’ll be capable of compete if it wasn’t a false optimistic, whatever the sport,” says Dr. Naresh Rao, head doctor for USA Water Polo and a member of the Tokyo medical workforce for the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee. The RAEG gives the outcomes of its evaluations to the Infectious Diseases Control Center for Tokyo 2020, which then reviews the group’s determinations to the respective Olympic committees of the athletes concerned.

The International Olympic Committee has stated that any athlete or Olympic personnel who fail to adjust to testing procedures or steerage from RAEG can face a spread of penalties, from fines to suspension to deportation.

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