Team USA is 100% vaccinated heading into Beijing – KTSM 9 News

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KTSM 9 News
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BEIJING (NEXSTAR) — More than 220 athletes are representing Team USA in the 2022 winter games in Beijing, and all of them are fully vaccinated.
“We feel like this is the best policy moving forward to guarantee the health and safety of our athletes and our staff,” says Dr. Jonathan Finnoff, Chief Medical Officer for the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee, or USOPC. “Also to ensure that we are able to provide all the resources that we need to, to the fullest capacity.”
The 100% vaccination status is a contrast to the games in Tokyo that took place in 2021 where more than 600 athletes represented the US and approximately 83% of them were vaccinated.
“We are playing the long game at this point,” says Finnoff. “Are we going to have restrictions and stuff next summer? What we want is consistency, we don’t want to cancel events, we don’t want to cancel training.”
In September, the USOPC announced that all of its athletes would need to be vaccinated, and that mandate went into effect on Nov. 1.
“This is all about the safety and health of our team,” says Sarah Hirshland, CEO of the USOPC. “The presence of this virus makes the challenge greater for all of us in a games environment, but we’re committed to doing everything we can in our power to mitigate illness and mitigate the spread of COVID-19.”
Unvaccinated athletes in Beijing are forced to quarantine for 21 days once they arrive in the country. This quarantine will not apply to the fully vaccinated team of US athletes.
“I think that these are challenging times,” Finnoff says. “But the vaccine policy that we have put in place, and that China has put in place, is going to make the games as safe as possible.”
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