The World Curing Federation reports that a number of positive COVID-19 cases have been detected amongst the competition broadcast staff at the 2021 World Women’s Curling Championship.
No athletes or competition officials are considered at risk at this time.
The entire competition broadcast staff have now been isolated in their hotel while additional testing and contact tracing takes place. The broadcast staff are situated in a different hotel from the athletes and competition officials in order to ensure the integrity of the competition bubble, and undergo regular testing throughout each competition.
The world women’s championship is the seventh and final curling championship to be hosted at Winsport Olympic Park in Calgary. It began Apr. 30 and is due to conclude May 9.
Broadcast crew members range from on-air talent to production staff members, including camera operators, audio technicians, a floor director and various staff working out of mobile production trucks.
Athletes and competition officials received scheduled PCR testing on Saturday, May 1. While awaiting the results from those tests, it has been determined that in an abundance of caution, and to also allow enough time for the venue to receive a deep clean, the Sunday morning session will be postponed.
After updated guidance is received on the situation from Alberta Health and once all athlete and competition official test results have been returned and are confirmed as negative, the competition will resume with the afternoon session at 4:00 p.m. eastern time. The morning’s postponed session will be played at a time to be determined later in the week.
While the impacted staff remain in isolation during the expanded testing and contact tracing, broadcasting will be on hold until they are medically cleared to return by the competition medical officials and Alberta Health.
“The World Curling Federation and Curling Canada have robust health and safety protocols in place under the guidance of the federal, provincial and local public health officials that will continue to be followed during this championship,” said the WCF in a release. “The health and safety of our athletes, officials, staff and the community at large are always our primary concern and will continue to be so as we address this latest challenge.
With respect for the privacy of the impacted individuals, no additional information will be shared at this time.”
Earlier in the week, Germany because the first curling team affected by COVID-19 in the Calgary bubble environment. Fan reaction to this TCN column has already resulted in various gift items being sent to the affected athletes.