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A police officer walks past the Olympic Village in Tokyo, Japan, on Monday. Photo: Michael Kappeler/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Olympic Games organizers confirmed Sunday three athletes have tested positive for COVID-19 in Tokyo — five days before the event is due to begin, per Reuters.

Driving the news: Two of the athletes, all of whom were listed as "non-Japanese," were staying in the Olympic Village, AP notes. The other was outside the village.

  • "Organisers reported 10 new cases connected to the Olympics including media, contractors and other personnel, down from 15 reported on Saturday," Reuters reports.

Of note: Officials on Saturday confirmed the first Olympic Village resident to test positive for the virus was a person identified as "games-concerned personnel," per AP.

  • Among those to test positive was Ryu Seung-min, an International Olympic Committee member and former Olympic athlete from South Korea, who'd been fully vaccinated against the virus —"reflecting the infection risk even from vaccinated attendees," Reuters notes. He was placed in a 14-day quarantine.

The big picture: People in Japan have been protesting the Games amid the latest uptick in positive cases ahead of opening day July 23.

  • Infectious disease experts say the Olympics don't have strong enough protocols for testing or ventilation, either in competition venues or in the Olympic village, Axios' Tina Reed writes.
  • Health experts fear the Olympics could become a superspreader event.

By the numbers via AP: "New COVID-19 cases on Saturday were reported at 1,410. They were 950 one week ago, and it marks the 28th straight day that cases were higher than a week previous. It was the highest single day since 1,485 on Jan. 21."

What they're saying: International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach said Thursday that risk "for the other residents of Olympic village and risk for the Japanese people is zero," Reuters reports.

  • "We are very well aware of the skepticism, obviously that a number of people have here in Japan," Bach said Saturday in his first large briefing of the Olympics at the main press center in Tokyo. "My appeal to the Japanese people is to welcome these athletes."
  • IOC Olympic Games executive director Christophe Dubi said in a statement Sunday that organizers could "safely say" that some 40,000 coronavirus tests had been carried out before roughly 18,000 Games participants had arrived in Japan.
  • "Then there is the screening on the airport followed by regular screening testing, for athletes every day," he added.

Zoom out: The Olympic Village on Tokyo Bay will house 11,000 athletes during the Games, along with thousands of staff members.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

Go deeper

Updated 5 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: The end of the Omicron wave is in sight — Transplants rebound from COVID lull.
  2. Vaccines: WHO: No evidence that healthy children, teens need boosters — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden to announce plan to distribute 400 million masks for free — Government website for free COVID tests launches early.
  4. World: WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older.
  5. Variant tracker
Tina Reed, author of Vitals
Oct 26, 2021 - Health

FDA panel endorses Pfizer vaccines for 5-to-11-year-olds

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Members of the Food and Drug Administration's vaccine expert panel Tuesday endorsed a two-dose series of Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5–11. The final vote was 17 members in favor, with one member abstaining.

Why it matters: While not binding, the decision is a long-awaited step toward getting COVID vaccines in the arms of some of the youngest Americans potentially in time to get many fully vaccinated in advance of the holiday season.

Updated Oct 26, 2021 - Health

Prime minister flags vaccine mandate for 40% of New Zealand workforce

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern during an October COVID-19 briefing in Wellington, New Zealand. Photo: Robert Kitchin - Pool/Getty Images

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Tuesday announced a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for businesses, as the government pushes to reach a nationwide 90% vaccination target.

Why it matters: Under the new COVID-19 Protection Framework, businesses must require vaccine certificates from customers if they're in close contact with them. Ardern said at a briefing Tuesday that such venues wishing to operate, including hair salons, bars, restaurants and gyms, must ensure staff is vaccinated.