To enter China and the Games' "closed loop," people must pass a battery of tests without a positive COVID resultGETTY IMAGES
China’s "strict COVID protocols" are "combining to put the Olympics on edge," according to Wetzel & Busbee of YAHOO SPORTS. Just clearing up a false positive can "take three days," leaving athletes "terrified of being knocked out of competitions ... even if they are asymptomatic." Several international journalists and workers at the Beijing Games have found themselves "ensnared in China’s strict Olympic COVID protocols, facing isolation for a week or more until they can negative-test their way to freedom." Everyone entering the “closed loop” of the Beijing Games "must pass a battery of tests to get in," and "must keep passing them every day they’re in the country." One confirmed positive, "regardless of symptoms -- or even, potentially, a close contact with someone who tests positive -- and it’s off to an isolation facility." The isolation centers are "somewhere between drab and concerning." They are "about 269 square feet, a little smaller than an average hotel room -- in size, have a window that can provide 'access to fresh air,' and feature wifi, although the level of restrictions on wifi is left unsaid." Anyone stuck in one "will get served three meals a day and access to 'mental health support,'" but “will not be allowed to go outside.” To be released from an isolation center, an isolated individual who tested positive can be "released after 10 days of isolation provided they are asymptomatic and pass PCR tests for three straight days" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 1/24).