Report: Hotel could house athletes with COVID-19 symptoms during Olympics

Liz Roscher
·2-min read

Tokyo Olympics organizers are reportedly working to secure hotel rooms that could be used to house athletes who start displaying COVID-19 symptoms during the upcoming Olympics.

According to Japan's Kyodo News (via USA Today), organizers are trying to secure 300 rooms at a hotel near the Athletes' Village. Athletes would be isolated there if they're displaying COVID-19 symptoms but don't need to be hospitalized. 

Organizers have yet to release what the procedure would be if an athlete tests positive or starts showing symptoms. Tokyo is expecting 15,000 athletes and even more officials, judges, staff, press, and broadcasters. With so many people expected for the games, 300 rooms doesn't seem like enough, but additional plans are expected in the coming weeks. 

Organizers face COVID-19 complications

The report from Kyodo News shows how much work organizers still have to do before the games open on July 23.

Organizers have promised athletes, officials, broadcasters, federation members, and the press that there will a comprehensive update on COVID-19 procedures in April. The playbooks for all of these constituencies, which were published several months ago, are missing vital information on numerous health and safety measures, like temperature check venues, the website and app everyone will be required to use to schedule tests, social distancing countermeasures, where attendees are permitted to go, and what the procedure is if an athlete tests positive or starts showing symptoms.

Organizers could house athletes with COVID-19 symptoms in a nearby hotel. (Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images)
Organizers could house athletes with COVID-19 symptoms in a nearby hotel. (Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images)

Those details are important not just for the athletes, but for the residents of Tokyo. While Tokyo has barred international fans from traveling to Japan to attend the games, at least 25,000 people from 200 countries will be coming to Tokyo. Japan's slow vaccine rollout has led to just 1 percent of residents getting the vaccine, and that number will likely remain on the low side leading up to the Olympics.

The COVID-19 situation in Japan has been worsening. Several prefectures were recently put into a targeted lockdown to curb the spread of the virus, and Tokyo is next. Less than a month ago, the broad state of emergency was lifted in the capital, and cases have been increasing ever since. New restrictions are reportedly being put in place on Monday to curb the spread.

According to USA Today, up to 80 percent of those polled in Japan are against the Olympics taking place. 

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