Olympic advisers at ease with COVID rate, see cases falling

Feb 1, 2022, 9:53 AM | Updated: Feb 2, 2022, 3:43 pm
A medical worker enters a hotel room to take a swab sample for a COVID-19 test head of the 2022 Win...

A medical worker enters a hotel room to take a swab sample for a COVID-19 test head of the 2022 Winter Olympics, Feb. 2, 2022, in the Yanqing district of Beijing. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)

(AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)

BEIJING (AP) — With more than 30 new COVID-19 cases being detected daily ahead of the Beijing Olympics, organizers said Wednesday they aren’t worried and expect numbers to drop within days.

A total of 32 new cases — 15 in tests of people arriving at the airport and 17 within the Olympic bubbles — were reported by the Beijing organizing committee on Wednesday, two days before the opening ceremony. The average was 31 cases over the past three days.

Athletes and team officials accounted for nine of the latest cases and 23 were “stakeholders,” a category that includes workers and media. Athletes testing positive now could miss their events.

Eleven people have been treated at the hospital for a symptom among the 232 positive tests registered since Jan. 23, though “none of those are seriously ill in any way,” Olympic medical adviser Brian McCloskey said.

The overall numbers are not worrying for the Olympics, said McCloskey, who is leading the organizers’ medical expert panel.

“Virtually every country in the world at the moment has a higher level of COVID than China,” he said, explaining why the risk of detection is greater at the airport and steadily decreasing.

Daily PCR tests are taken from every Olympic athlete, sports official and worker — more than 65,000 tests on Tuesday. All are living separate from the general public in what organizers call a closed-loop community.

“For the first few days in the closed loop the risk is still a bit higher because of the risk of people incubating the disease very slowly,” McCloskey said.

After spending about five days at the Olympics, “the risk comes down to equivalent to the local population risk — very, very low,” he said.

China has pursued a zero-tolerance public health policy during the pandemic, which spread from an initial outbreak in the country more than two years ago.

Olympic advisers are also looking for trends beyond the bare statistics at this year’s Winter Games.

“The main challenge is not the number of cases, it’s the indication of whether there is spread within the closed loop,” said McCloskey, who is focused on spotting connected cases of community transmission that might threaten staging events. “We are obviously nowhere near that level at present.”

___

More AP Olympics: https://apnews.com/hub/winter-olympics and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Portland Thorns midfielder Olivia Moultrie celebrates after scoring a penalty kick against the Hous...
Associated Press

Olivia Moultrie proud of stand she took to play in NWSL

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — It’s been a little more than a year since Olivia Moultrie signed with the Portland Thorns after suing to join the National Women’s Soccer League at just 15 years old. For Moultrie, the lasting lesson of her legal odyssey is that women should have the same opportunities to reach the top […]
16 hours ago
FILE - Alex Palou, of Spain, waits in his pits during qualifications for an IndyCar auto race at In...
Associated Press

Column: Palou persevering through Ganassi contract chaos

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The conversation, if one could even call it that, might not have lasted even 10 seconds. It was more of an exchange between Chip Ganassi, who took a moment to congratulate Alex Palou, the driver he is suing because the IndyCar champion is trying to leave his team at the end […]
16 hours ago
Serena Williams, of the United States, returns the ball during a match with Nuria Parrizas-Diaz, of...
Associated Press

Serena Williams earns first win of season in Toronto

TORONTO (AP) — Serena Williams earned her first win in more than a year Monday, beating Nuria Parrizas-Diaz 6-3, 6-4 at the women’s National Bank Open. It’s just the second tournament of the season for the 40-year-old Williams, who returned to competition at Wimbledon just over a month ago. The 23-time Grand Slam champion fell […]
16 hours ago
Kevin Harvick celebrates with his daughter Piper after winning the NASCAR Cup Series auto race at t...
Associated Press

Harvick win complicates NASCAR playoff spots in final weeks

BROOKLYN, Mich. (AP) — NASCAR just got more interesting down the stretch. Kevin Harvick won his first Cup race in nearly two years at Michigan International Speedway over the weekend — a result that could mean a driver who has a win getting knocked out of the playoffs. “It creates a big bubble,” Harvick said […]
16 hours ago
FILE - Baseball Hall of Famer and former Boston Red Sox pitcher Dennis Eckersley applauds during pr...
Associated Press

Hall of Famer Eckersley to leave Red Sox booth after season

BOSTON (AP) — Hall of Fame pitcher Dennis Eckersley said Monday that he will be leaving the Boston Red Sox broadcasts at the end of the season, his 50th in Major League Baseball. Eckersley, who was drafted by Cleveland as a California high schooler in 1972, went on to pitch 24 seasons as both a […]
2 days ago
Alabama head coach Nick Saban speaks during NCAA college football Southeastern Conference Media Day...
Associated Press

Alabama No. 1 in preseason coaches’ poll; Ohio St. 2, UGA 3

Alabama was voted No. 1 in the preseason USA Today coaches’ poll released Monday, with Ohio State second and defending national champion Georgia third. The Associated Press preseason Top 25 will be released Aug. 15. The Crimson Tide received 54 first-place votes from a panel of 66 major college football coaches. Alabama is coming off […]
2 days ago
Olympic advisers at ease with COVID rate, see cases falling