Beijing Olympic Committee lowers cycle threshold for COVID-19 testing

The emblem for the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games is shown after being unveiled at a ceremony at the National Aquatics Center. (Mark Schiefelbein/AP)

The Beijing Olympic Committee and Chinese authorities plan to lower the threshold for producing a negative COVID-19 test for participants upon arrival at the Winter Games.

Beijing 2022 sent out a release Sunday following questions regarding the previous threshold value.

The cycle threshold (CT) value will drop from 40 to 35, making it easier for competitors to produce a negative test. Meaning at the Games, anyone with a PCR test less than 35 will be considered positive.

The higher the CT value, the less infectious a person with COVID-19 is. Leagues such as the NHL and NBA use 30 while the NFL uses 35.

Participants in the Games whose PCR results have a CT value greater than or equal to 35 will be managed the same as a close contact for seven days.

The time period a person is deemed a close contact is also decreasing from two weeks to seven days. During that period, testing will be carried out twice daily, the Beijing 2022 communication explained.

Additionally, if a participant who has tested positive spends 10 or more days in isolation, that person will be released to their Games time accommodation if they are asymptomatic and if they have a CT value greater than or equal to 35 on their PCR test for the past three consecutive days.


Editor's Note: The COVID-19 situation, in sports and around the world, is constantly evolving. Readers in Canada can consult the country's public health website for the latest.


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