Winter Olympics: Team Canada reveal five COVID positives in Beijing camp

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Canada have reported five COVID-19 cases among their Winter Olympics delegation in Beijing.

The names of those infected have not been released, nor has it been specified whether those affected are athletes or support staff, or a combination of those.

The Beijing 2022 opening ceremony takes place on Friday, February 4, although curling begins two days earlier and freestyle skiing and ice hockey start on the eve of the Games.

The Canadian Olympic Committee said in a statement: "Currently five out of the 246 members of the Team Canada delegation in Beijing are in COVID-19 protocols.

"We are following the Beijing 2022 playbook rules. Part of our strategy was to arrive early to allow time for confirmation testing and, if necessary, the medical expert panel process to unfold.

"Because there will likely be persistent shedders among the delegation, we will not be sharing names at this time. Members of Team Canada's delegation include athletes, coaches and mission team."

Persistent shedders are those who have recovered from having the coronavirus and may no longer be contagious, but who still have remnants of the virus in their system.

The Beijing Games playbook for athletes is their guide to the Games, and it outlines COVID-19 rules, with those that test positive to be taken to a designated hospital if symptomatic, or to an isolation facility if showing no outward signs of the virus.

Canada has a rich tradition of success at the Winter Olympics, finishing third on the medal table at the 2018 Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

The news comes a day after Norway's reigning Winter Olympics skiathlon champion Simen Hegstad Kruger was revealed to have tested positive.

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