COVID-19 Cases Continue To Rise In Olympic Village Ahead Of Opening Ceremonies

(Arne Müseler / Wikimedia Commons)
​The Tokyo Olympics are set to begin today. Yet, as the date approached, the number of people linked to the games testing positive for COVID-19 rose. According to the 2020 Tokyo organizers, there were over 70 COVID-19 cases in the Olympic Village.

This number includes:

  • Three members of the South African Olympic football team. According to the South African Football Association, two players and one official tested positive after arriving at the Toyo Olympic Village.
  • Two US athletes. One is Kara Eaker, a team member of the US Gymnastics team, whose father confirmed Monday morning. The other is Katie Lou Samuelson, a member of the US Olympic Basketball team.
  • American Tennis player Cori ‘Coco’ Gauff also announced on Twitter that she had tested positive for the virus and would not participate in the Olympics.
The rising number of cases does not help polls in Tokyo, which show that 83 percent of residents oppose hosting the games, according to the New York Times. The games, which were to take place in July 2020, were postponed due to the pandemic.

The new plan is to host the Olympics in the Olympics Village. The idea is that it will keep the participants, and all linked to the games in a bubble with COVID-19 measures in place and a dedicated Fever Clinic that allows fast diagnosis and treatment.

The new cases have already harmed the games. Some athletes like Nick Kyrgios, an Australian tennis star, and Australian Women’s Basketball player Liz Cambage have withdrawn from the games. Additionally, thousands of volunteers for the Olympics have also quit.

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According to Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto, they are not ruling out a cancellation of the event at the last minute.

During a news conference in Tokyo, he said, “We cannot predict what the epidemic will look like in the future. So as for what to do should there be any surge of positive cases, we’ll discuss accordingly if that happens.”

As of now, the Olympic Village is prepped for the games. Players and participants encounter signs reminding them to take the necessary precautions to minimize spread, and athletes will be tested and contact traced daily. ​~

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