FINA: “Fewer Than 40” Positive COVID Tests at Short Course Worlds; Many in Isolation Until After Christmas

fina, medal-ceremony-2021-short-course-world-championships
Photo Courtesy: Andrea Staccioli / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

FINA: “Fewer Than 40” Positive COVID Tests at Short Course Worlds; Many in Isolation Until After Christmas

COVID-19 made a significant impact on the Short Course World Championships this week in Abu Dhabi as numerous big-name swimmers were forced to miss events or pull out of the entire meet because of COVID-19 protocols, either a positive test or close contact with a swimmer who tested positive.

At the conclusion of the meet, FINA told Swimming World that “fewer than 40… accredited individuals” tested positive and were forced to isolate. Given the standard 10-day isolation for COVID, anyone who tested positive during the competition (which began Dec. 16) will likely have to remain in Abu Dhabi, away from their homes and their families through the Christmas holiday.

Read the full statement provided by FINA:

“As the FINA events in Abu Dhabi have drawn to a close, fewer than 40 out of nearly 3830 (1.04%) accredited individuals are self-isolating, following positive PCR tests for COVID. They are being well cared for. Thanks to comprehensive public health measures, including detailed contact tracing, new daily case numbers have remained low. FINA is grateful to the local authorities for their extensive support in safeguarding the health of all participants.”

On day two, 200 free Olympic champion Tom Dean missed his signature event because he was a close contact, and he was later ruled out of the meet, and then on day three, Americans Lydia Jacoby and Katie Grimes were knocked out of the meet because of COVID protocols. The following day, three Americans (Michael AndrewRhyan White and Michael Brinegar) withdrew and returned to the U.S., a move that USA Swimming said was made “out of an abundance of caution.” More recently, Great Britain’s Max Litchfield was forced to isolate after testing positive, and he made the best out of the situation by posting an entertaining TikTok video showing how he was occupying his time in his hotel room.

Jacoby later revealed on Instagram that she had been a close contact and was able to return home, but many others are not so lucky as they will have to remain in their Abu Dhabi hotel rooms through Christmas. Litchfield’s coach, David Hemmings, confirmed he would be among that group.

1 Comment
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
7 months ago

Are any of the swimmers that tested positive actually — you know — sick? It was recently reported that 21 of the 23 Redskins, now known as the Washington Football Team, who have been held out of games and practice based upon COVID protocols have no symptoms and are healthy enough to practice and play in games.