Olympic bubble sees low COVID-19 case rates


TOKYO (NEXSTAR) — The Tokyo Olympic Games are about to wrap up. The odds were stacked against them — a pandemic, no fans — but the IOC pulled them off and delivered on a key promise.

“As promised, this has been a safe and secure games,” Dr. Brian McCloskey said.

With COVID-19 numbers rising in Tokyo even before the games began, the International Olympic Committee had a major challenge on its hands: How to keep the Olympics from becoming a COVID-19 spreader.

“Since the first of July the organizing committee of the games and the Japanese authorities have tested over 600,000 people and we’ve had less than 400 positives, 385,” McCloskey said.

That’s 0.02% positive tests.

“Which suggests this has been a safe and secure games,” he said.

Even with COVID-19 numbers rising to record levels almost daily, the bubble and the COVID-19 protocols put in place clearly worked.

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There were a few athletes that broke the rules and six were sent home. But McCloskey, who helped draw up the playbook, says the world can learn from Tokyo.

“The way out of the pandemic is through applying public health and social measures, such as social distancing, wearing masks and hand hygiene, and that’s been the view of the (World Health Organization) since the beginning of the pandemic,” McCloskey said. “What Tokyo has just done, in a historic way, is prove that that advice is the right advice.”

The IOC took a risk hosting the games in Tokyo and athletes are grateful they did. Canceling them altogether would have been devastating for the people that worked so hard to put them on and compete.


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