Rising virus infections among Olympic athletes and coaches

BEIJING (AP), -- Team officials and athletes are being tested positive for COVID-19 at a higher rate than others arriving in China for the Beijing Olympics. Organisers said Tuesday.

Rising virus infections among Olympic athletes and coaches

Local organizers revealed that 11 of 379 officials and athletes arrived Monday with positive COVID-19 tests. They were taken to isolation hotels in order to prevent the spread of the disease and could miss events.

The positive rate for officials and athletes was 2.9%, compared to the 0.66% for Olympic "stakeholders" (a group that includes workers and media) during the same time period. That category included 1,059 participants.

The positivity rate of athletes and officials was 40% higher over a three-day period, from Saturday to Monday.

These rates were confirmed by PCR and other follow up tests for the tens of thousand of Beijing Olympics athletes who will live, work, and train in isolated communities. China's government has adopted a zero tolerance public health strategy.

Monday's infection rate from testing of Olympic officials and athletes was 100 times higher than that of workers. Five of the 3,103 positive tests by athletes-officials were more common than one of the over 60,000 daily tests taken from "stakeholders."

Since Jan. 23, 200 COVID-19 positives have been reported at the Olympics. From the 200 positive tests, 67 were athletes or officials. The remaining 133 were made up of "stakeholders".

Audrey King from Hong Kong, who came from Bosnia-Herzegovina to train at a ski camp, was one of the Beijing athletes who tested positive. King said she was able to ski in the women's Slalom on February 9 because she didn't have any symptoms.

Emma Terho (two-time Olympic hockey gold medalist) is the International Olympic Committee's most senior representative. She arrived positive for HIV and is now in isolation.

"Even though it is not the start I envisioned, I was happy that the protocols that Beijing 2022 have put in place are working well," Terho wrote on her Instagram account. Terho is an IOC member representing Finland and sits on the Olympic body’s executive board.

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