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COVID Has Reached the Olympic Village

Photo: Yuichi Yamazaki/Getty Images

The Associated Press is reporting that two South African soccer players have tested positive for COVID-19 within the Olympic Village. A South African soccer team video analyst also tested positive. Much has been done to try and make a NBA-esque bubble for the Olympic athletes, including banning spectators, and making anti-sex beds. But those efforts change nothing if an athlete shows up during the incubation phase of the virus, which the South African team members appear to have done. “The timing of the positive results suggests that the PCR test in these individuals was done during the incubation period of the infection, which is how they could be negative in South Africa and then positive in Japan,” the team’s chief medical officer, Dr. Phatho Zondi, said in a statement.

Meanwhile, American tennis player Cori “Coco” Gauff announced on Twitter that she has tested positive for COVID and will no longer be attending the games. “I want to wish TEAM USA best of luck and a safe games for every Olympian and the entire Olympic family,” her message read in part.

According to PBS News Hour, only 15 to 20 percent of the Japanese public is fully vaccinated, and over 80 percent think the games should be postponed again or canceled altogether. IOC president Thomas Bach said Thursday that, despite positive tests, “Risk for the other residents of Olympic village and risk for the Japanese people is zero.”

Update, Monday, July 19, 10:00 a.m.: Whether they’re anti-sex or just sustainable, the Olympics don’t need cardboard beds to keep athletes apart when a deadly virus is around. COVID-19 cases continue to crop up at the Olympic Village, this time affecting the U.S. team. Kara Eaker, an alternate from the women’s artistic gymnastics team has tested positive and been put into isolation. The 18-year-old athlete’s coach confirmed the news to reporter Justin Surrency. A second alternate member of the artistic gymnastics team was also put in isolation, USA Gymnastics said in a statement to NPR. The athletes will continue to train and prepare for the competition, which begins June 25. Tokyo 2020 reported on Monday that there have been at least 58 COVID-19 cases linked to the Olympic Games, which open Friday, July 23.

A previous version of this posted misstated the date of the Olympic gymnastics competition and has been updated.

COVID Has Reached the Olympic Village