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Beijing 2022: Covid-19 Countermeasures, Events, and Venues

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The 2022 winter Olympics, dubbed Beijing 2022 is barely 10 days away and all is set and ready after years of preparations with all the safety measures in place adhering to covid-19 restrictions.
The COVID-19 countermeasures for this winter games have been refined by the Organizing Committee and the Chinese authorities, in consultation with medical experts and the International Olympic Committee (IOC). They have been developed to further adapt to the reality of the current environment and support the Games participants.
However, The Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics Organizing Committee on Monday said it confirmed six new positive cases of COVID-19 during testing the previous day.

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Of the new cases, four were among new arrivals and the other two were stakeholders already in the closed-loop who had taken confirmatory tests.
Of the four positive cases found among 529 Olympic-related arrivals at the airport on Sunday, Jan. 23, one was an athlete or team official, showing a statement on the official Beijing 2022 website.
As a way of curbing the spread of this virus, the new measures are set to come into effect immediately and will apply retrospectively.
This will mean for both airport testing and screening testing, participants whose PCR results have a Cycle Threshold (CT) greater than or equal to 35 will:
i). Be managed in the same way as close contacts for seven days
ii). They will not be allowed to generate any close contacts with other people be it from their teams or relatives.
iii). Those with a PCR result of less than 35 will be considered positive.
iv). Isolation; Those participants with a PCR result with a CT of less than 35, and therefore positive, will be isolated in the designated isolation facilities.
If positive participants spend 10 days or more in isolation, then they can be released to their original Games-time accommodation if:
They are not displaying any COVID-19 symptoms
Their PCR results have a CT value greater than or equal to 35 for the previous three consecutive days.
Once rejoining the closed-loop, each person will be managed as a close contact. Should the participant’s PCR results in the following days have a CT value of less than 35, they will not be returned to isolation and will continue to be managed as a close contact.
v). The rule that allows all people testing negative for two consecutive days to be released as a close contact (for seven days) remains in place.
vi). Contact duration; The period for which a person is deemed a close contact is reduced from 14 to seven days.
Still and all, during that period, testing will be carried out twice daily. Close contacts will be able to choose whether their PCR test sample is collected as a nasopharyngeal or oropharyngeal swab.
vii). Persistently positive cases; For participants who repeatedly receive test results with a CT of less than 35, a separate policy that will enable them to return home at the earliest possible time is being developed jointly by Beijing 2022 and the IOC and will be communicated separately.
Opening and Closing Ceremony
The Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the Olympic Games represent the official start on February 4th and end on 20th of February.

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This will be marked and celebrated through music, song, dance, and fireworks and is meant to discover the culture of different countries participating in the games.
The opening ceremony includes an introduction of athletes from more than 90 countries and the formal lighting of the Olympic torch. The ceremony will be held at Beijing’s National Stadium and will be directed by Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou, who also helped produce the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.
Events
The 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing will feature 15 different sports and a total of 109 events.
Winter Olympics starts with curling, alpine skiing, and women’s hockey on February 2 and continues through February 20, ending with the closing ceremony at 8 p.m. ET.

Venues
A total of 12 competition venues will host the 109 medal events set to take place. Many venues are leveraging existing facilities, while some are brand-new specifically for these Winter Games.
The competition venues are spread across three different clusters (also called zones): Beijing, Yanqing, and Zhangjiakou. Each area has its athlete village, all of which will be repurposed after the Olympics end.

Beijing
Central Beijing will mainly host ice sports. Most of the venues are repurposed from when the city hosted the Summer Games in 2008, though the speed skating arena and the big air ramp are new additions. Six competition venues in total are located here, as well as the National Stadium which will be used for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies. The athlete village, which consists of 20 buildings and includes around 2,300 beds, will be turned into public housing after the Games.

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Yanqing
A mountainous suburb about 45 miles northwest of downtown Beijing, the Yanqing Zone features two competition venues and will host sliding sports and Alpine skiing. It’s accessible from the city center by high-speed train. The athlete village will provide 1,430 beds for athletes and officials before ultimately becoming a leisure resort hotel.
Zhangjiakou
Further past Yanqing, over 100 miles northwest of Beijing, is the Zhangjiakou Zone. The area is a popular ski destination in China and for the Winter Olympics, its four competition venues will host all of the snow events aside from Alpine skiing and snowboard/Freeski big air. A newly constructed bullet train has greatly cut down the time it takes to reach Zhangjiakou — it’s now accessible from Beijing in under 50 minutes. With over 2,600 beds, Zhangjiakou’s athlete village is the biggest of the three and will be turned into a business complex after the Games.
Learn about some of the notable venues being used for the 2022 Winter Olympics below.

Elias Makokha is a professional Media Practitioner venturing into Corporate Communications, Radio Broadcast and Digital content creation with a keen interest in videography, photography and online Writing. He works well individually and collaboratively with his juniors, peers and seniors. He adheres to the hallmarks of journalism and accurately reports by conducting fact checks from reputable sources before publishing.

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