First known Olympic Village resident tests positive for COVID-19 ahead of July 23 opening

The Olympic Village’s first resident, a person identified as “games-concerned personnel,” tested positive for the coronavirus, Tokyo Olympic organizers said Saturday, per AP.

Driving the news: Organizers said 45 people within their “jurisdiction” have tested positive for COVID-19 as of Saturday. Only the single case is in Olympic Village. Most people who have tested positive have been characterized as “contractors.” The list also includes one athlete and three members of the media. Twelve cases are identified as “non-resident of Japan,” AP notes.

The big picture: Infectious disease experts say the Olympics don’t have strong enough protocols for testing or ventilation, either in competition venues or in the Olympic village, Axios’ Tina Reed writes.

  • Health experts fear the Olympics could become a superspreader event.

By the numbers via AP: “New COVID-19 cases on Saturday were reported at 1,410. They were 950 one week ago, and it marks the 28th straight day that cases were higher than a week previous. It was the highest single day since 1,485 on Jan. 21.”

What they’re saying: “In the current situation, that positive cases arise is something we must assume is possible,” said Toshiro Muto, CEO of the Tokyo organizing committee.

Japanese people continue to protest the Games amid the latest uptick in positive cases ahead of opening day July 23.

International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach said Thursday that “[r]isk for the other residents of Olympic village and risk for the Japanese people is zero,” Reuters reports.

  • “We are very well aware of the skepticism, obviously that a number of people have here in Japan,” Bach said Saturday in his first large briefing of the Olympics at the main press center in Tokyo. “My appeal to the Japanese people is to welcome these athletes.”

Details: Tokyo officials say the individual, who is neither an Olympic athlete nor a resident of Japan, was placed in a 14-day quarantine.

Zoom out: The Olympic Village on Tokyo Bay will house 11,000 athletes during the Games, along with thousands of staff members.

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