Olympic organizers: 32 athletes are working in isolation to promote COVID

BEIJING (AP), -- More than 30 Olympic athletes are currently in isolation after being tested positive for coronavirus. Seven days is the average length of stay in isolation.

Olympic organizers: 32 athletes are working in isolation to promote COVID

BEIJING (AP), -- More than 30 Olympic athletes are currently in isolation after being tested positive for coronavirus. Seven days is the average length of stay in isolation.

Brian McCloskey (chairman of the expert medical panel) stated that "we will allow as many people from isolation as possible, but only as many we can safely do." McCloskey stated that 50 athletes were discharged, and that the vast majority are healthy and don't require medical treatment.

After complaints from athletes and teams about poor food quality, dirty rooms, and a lack in training equipment and internet access, 32 athletes were placed in isolation facilities. The organizers acknowledged that athletes are already in a difficult environment and could miss competitions due to isolation. They also said they were doing their best to resolve any issues quickly.

Beijing organizers require that everyone living in the Olympic bubble take daily PCR laboratory tests to prevent COVID-19 spreading. All confirmed positives are sent to an isolation center until they are cleared to be discharged with negative tests. Patients who continue to test positive can request a review from a medical panel.

McCloskey pointed out that even though they are not contagious, people can test positive for long periods of time. McCloskey said that people who have been infected before may be positive again because they are more likely to spread the virus.

He said, "The challenge is to differentiate the two."

Organisers stated that they expect positive cases to decrease as more people enter the Olympic bubble. This is because screening procedures are designed to detect the virus early and stop it from spreading.

McCloskey stated that almost everyone in the bubble has been vaccinated and everyone is being tested.

He stated that "I believe your chance of picking-up COVID within the closed loop" is lower than any other place in the world.

There have been 393 positive cases so far within the Olympic bubble. This includes athletes as well as news media and team officials. For the Olympics, more than 12,800 people have traveled from other countries.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Department of Science Education provides support to the Associated Press Health and Science Department. All content is the sole responsibility of the Associated Press.

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