Jan 15, 2022 - Health

Beijing reports first local Omicron case weeks before Winter Olympics

A man looks through a window in a fence as a security guard walks in front of a fenced in hotel ahead of the Winter Olympics.
A man looks out at a security guard from behind a fence Jan. 14 at a Beijing hotel housing those who have arrived for the 2022 Winter Olympics and Paralympics. Photo: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

Beijing on Saturday reported its first locally transmitted case of Omicron, less than three weeks before the start of the Winter Olympics, Reuters reports.

Driving the news: Lab testing found "mutations specific to the Omicron variant" of COVID-19 in the individual, an official at the city's disease control authority told a news briefing, per Reuters.

  • The infected person's residential compound and workplace have both been sealed up and test samples of nearly 2,500 individuals who may be linked to the positive case have been taken.

The big picture: The positive case comes as the city gears up to host the Winter Olympics, beginning Feb. 4.

  • China, which continues to adhere to a "zero COVID policy," is set to impose stringent measures to pull off the games.
  • All athletes must test negative twice within 96 hours of their flight, and unvaccinated athletes must quarantine for 21 days upon arrival, Axios' Jeff Tracy reports.
  • Masks are also required and testing will occur daily.

Go deeper: Ultra-strict lockdowns preview what's in store for Beijing Olympics

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