Concerns rise after positive tests at Olympic Village

Tokyo’s Olympic Village has been dubbed a "bubble" because of the raft of anti-virus measures implemented there. But after two competitors and an official tested positive in the first week, is the bubble about to burst?

The Tokyo organizing committee confirmed on Sunday that two members of South Africa's men’s soccer team and one member of staff had tested positive for COVID-19 at the village.

The committee says 18 people – mostly members of the South African team – have been identified as close contacts. All tested negative on Sunday.

Olympic Village
People who are deemed close contacts of those who have tested positive are being asked to stay in their rooms.

South Africa is scheduled to play Japan this Thursday, and organizers still can’t say how the developments will affect that plan.

"We are coordinating with relevant parties, including International Sports Federations, to determine whether these athletes will participate," said a spokesperson for the organizers.

Those organizers have said that close contacts will be permitted to participate if they meet certain criteria, including a negative PCR test about six hours before competing.

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South Africa's men's soccer team is scheduled to compete against Japan on July 22.

Outside the Olympic Village, South Africa’s rugby sevens coach Neil Powell began a 14-day quarantine on Monday after he was found to have contracted the virus during preparations in the western prefecture of Kagoshima.

The country's rugby association says Powell will coach remotely for at least one match of the sevens tournament, which runs July 26 to 28.

Assistant coach Renfred Dazel says the team arrived well prepared and characterizes the developments as "just a small distraction in that bigger picture."

More than 30, 000 people related to the Games are expected to arrive at Narita Airport. Games organizers say 58 athletes and officials have tested positive in Japan since July 1.

Outside of the Olympics, infections are surging again in Tokyo. On Sunday, the number of new cases exceeded 1,000 for a fifth straight day, despite a fourth state of emergency being implemented on July 12.

Japan’s Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide has said the government "will do its best to prevent the virus from entering the country," and athletes are required to take PCR tests upon arrival in Japan, and again when they enter the Olympic Village.